LGBT rights in Georgia
- This article is about LGBT rights in the country of Georgia. For LGBT rights in the U.S. state of Georgia, see LGBT rights in Georgia (U.S. state).
|LGBT rights in Georgia|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal|
|Military service||No known policy|
|Discrimination protections||Crimes motivated by sexual orientation are considered aggravated, allowing heavier penalties. Sexual orientation also protected in labor code since 2006.|
Georgia is one of only few countries in the former Soviet space (others being EU-member Baltic states) that directly prohibits discrimination against LGBT people in legislation, labor-related or otherwise, and considers crimes committed on the grounds of one's sexual orientation an aggravating factor in prosecution. Despite this, homosexuality is considered a major deviation from highly traditional Orthodox Christian values prevalent in the country, where public discussions of sexuality in general tend to be shunned. Consequently, homosexuals are often targets of abuse and physical violence. 
Despite these problems, Georgia is undergoing a prolonged and painful process of evolution, especially as the government tries to bring the country's human rights record in line with the demands of Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Georgia's newly-elected Prime Minister has stated that "sexual minorities are the same citizens as we are… [and that] the society will gradually get used to it." Moreover, recent street tensions in the country over LGBT rights have generated unprecedented media coverage and public discussion of this previously neglected topic.
Legal history of same-sex sexual activity
In 1933, Article 121 was added to the criminal code, for the entire Soviet Union, that expressly prohibited male homosexuality, with up to five years of hard labor in prison. The precise reason for the new law is still in some dispute.Some historians have suggested that Joseph Stalin's enactment of the anti-gay law was, like his prohibition on abortion, an attempt to increase the Soviet birthrate and build a better relationship with the conservative Eastern Orthodox Church. The article was also used by Soviet authorities against dissident movements, with many activists being arrested on trumped-up sodomy charges.
After Georgia obtained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the aforesaid practice fell out of use and there are no recorded cases of sodomy article being openly used against political opponents ever since. Despite this, the freedom of same-sex sexual activity was not officially enshrined in the law until 2000, when the Georgian government put in place an amended criminal code to meet the standards set forth by the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Current discrimination protections
Since 2006, Article 2(3) of the Labor Code prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment relations.
According to the amended Georgian Criminal Code, committing crimes against individuals based on sexual orientation, among other things, is an aggravating factor that should result in tougher sentences during prosecution.
LGBT freedom of expression
An event in 2006 that supposed to promote the tolerance and cultural dialogue was canceled after the rumours spread that it was supposedly a gay parade. The head of Georgian Orthodox Church Patriarch Ilya stated that the any kind of rally which features LGBT people are "offensive". 
On 17 May 2012, Georgian LGBT organisation Identoba organized a peaceful march in observance of International Day against Homophobia. This was the first public march in support of LGBT equality in Georgia. The march was discontinued soon after it started, however, because the marchers were assaulted by religious counter-demonstrators, including representatives of the Georgian Orthodox Church and radical Christian groups. Police intervened to protect the march participants only after the fighting had already broken out and arrested some of the victims instead of the perpetrators.
Amnesty International criticized the Georgian government for failing to effectively protect the march.  On 14 January 2013, LGBT organization Identoba and the participants of the march filed an application against Georgia with the European Court of Human Rights. The application claims that Georgia failed to effectively protect the participants of LGBT march and did not investigate or adequately punish the perpetrators.
The 2013 observance of International Day against Homophobia was also met with aggression, although the scale of violence was unprecedented compared to the aforesaid demonstrations. Despite the fact that the thwarted LGBT demonstration was meant to be a silent march of several dozen activists, it was quickly labeled as a provocative "gay parade" by the opponents, attracting thousands of counter-demonstrators, led by radical Christian groups, priests and women holding nettles, saying they were "ready to fight". At least 28 people were injured, with many of them trapped in public transportation attacked by the demonstrators or chased down the narrow streets of Tbilisi. Although the police assistance likely saved the LGBT activists from more life threatening injuries, the Ministry of Internal Affairs failed to secure their demonstration site and freedom to assembly, with observers indicating that some turned a blind eye to the entry of radical Christians to the barricaded area and privately referred to LGBT activists in unflattering terms The government has promised to punish the perpetrators of violence, with PM Ivanishvili asserting that "acts of violence, discrimination and restriction of the rights of others will not be tolerated" in Georgia.
According to social attitude questionnaires, homosexuals remained one of the most disliked groups in society - with most respondents preferring an alcoholic rather than homosexual colleague at work. According to the same questionnaires, an estimated 91.5 percent of Georgians think that homosexuality is "completely unacceptable".
In October 2007 one of the contestants on the reality TV show Bar-4 outed himself on public television. After reportedly receiving a call from the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church Ilia II of Georgia, the Georgian president allegedly pressured the producers of the show into evicting the gay participant from the TV program.
|This section requires expansion. (May 2009)|
At least a dozen gender reassignment surgeries have been performed in Georgia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, with surgeons specializing in this procedure receiving both local and international patients. While Georgian citizens are free to adopt any name, male or female, it is unknown how the government treats requests for a gender change on official records.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
Georgia does not legally recognize same-sex unions.
Same-sex couples are not able to adopt children in Georgia.
- ILGA-Europe, President of Georgia signs anti-discrimination amendment April 20, 2012
- Global Rights report on Georgia (country)
- PM Comments on Planned Gay Rights Rally 14 May 2013
- "State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults".
- Report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by Georgia - A report prepared for the Committee on the Rights of Child 34th Session – Geneva, September 2003 Geneva, Switzerland. Retrieved. June 25, 2011.
- Article 2(3), Labor Code of Georgia
- ILGA-Europe, President of Georgia signs anti-discrimination amendment April 20, 2012
- 'Gay' rally in Georgia cancelled - BBC News
- "Fighting at gay rights march in Tbilisi Georgia", BBC News, 17 May 2012
- "HRIDC statement on the dispersal of LGBT organization Identoba's demonstration", Human Rights House Network, 21 May 2012
- "‘Virulent’ homophobic attacks put South Caucasus activists at risk", Amnesty International, 18 May 2012
- "'Identoba' files an application to the European Court of Human Rights against Georgia", 29 January 2013
- "Demonstration against Demonstration" Rustavi 2, Position (talk show), May 17th, 2013: at 2mins,5 secs: David-Michael Shubladze, the Executive Director of LGBT Georgia and organizer of the events, discusses the May tensions with representatives of the Georgian civil society.
- "Demonstration against Demonstration" Rustavi 2, Position (talk show), May 17th, 2013. at 41min, 20 secs: Expert and journalist Tamar Chergoleishvili: "This was not a gay parade, but was labeled like one to elicit more aggression among the population"
- Margarita Antidze. Chicago Tribune Crowds break up gay rights rallies in Georgia, Russia May 17, 2013
- Damien McGuinness Thousands protest in Georgia over gay rights rally BBC, 17 May 2013
- "Police, special task forces save gay parade participants from outraged citizens in Tbilisi", Ukraine News, Interfax News Agency, 17 May 2013
- Amnesty International, Georgia: Homophobic violence mars Tbilisi Pride event 17 May 2013
- Georgian Young Lawyers' Association. Initial evaluation of observer organizations on the scheduled rally on May 17, the International Day against homophobia and transphobia May 18, 2013
- Ivanishvili Condemns Violence Civil.ge, Retrieved: May 18, 2013
- Lomsadze, Giorgi. Georgia: Time for Homosexuality to Come Out of the Closet? EurasiaNet.Org. Published:February 15, 2011. Retrieved:June 25, 2011
- Georgia: Time for Homosexuality to Come Out of the Closet? by Giorgi Lomsadze
- Chuck Stewart, 'The Greenwood Encyclopaedia of LGBT issues worldwide, 2010