Georgia's Ruling Party Proposes Constitutional Changes to Ban "LGBT Propaganda"

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.04 - 2024 8:25 AM CET

Georgia's ruling party is seeking to amend the country's constitution with measures targeting LGBT rights, sparking a debate over freedom and human rights.

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Georgia's ruling party, "Georgian Dream," has officially set forth proposals to amend the Basic Law of the country, aiming to implement measures against what it terms "LGBT propaganda."

As reported by Novosti-Georgia, the proposed changes to the country's constitution will be encapsulated in the constitutional law "On Family Values and Protection of Minors."

These changes have sparked a heated discussion about the implications for human rights and freedoms in Georgia.

A Closer Look at the Proposals

The amendment project, though not explicitly mentioning "LGBT," outlines a series of measures that directly impact the LGBT community and their rights.

Key points include defining marriage exclusively as the union between one genetic man and one genetic woman. Adoption or guardianship of minors will be restricted, allowed "only to spouses or heterosexual persons who are married according to the legislature of Georgia."

Gender-changing medical procedures will be banned; official documents must mandatorily list only "male" or "female" gender based on genetic data. Actions by government agencies or private entities that "directly or indirectly limit the use of concepts determined by gender" are deemed invalid.

The proposals will also prohibit "events aimed at promoting same-sex family or intimate relationships, incest, adoption or guardianship of minors by a same-sex couple or non-heterosexual person, medical interventions for the purpose of changing sex."

Distribution of "works, programs, and other materials" related to LGBT subjects, along with their incorporation into the curriculum of both public and private educational institutions, will also be prohibited. The specific criteria for identifying materials as propaganda remain undefined.

The Path to Amendment

Despite the determination of "Georgian Dream" to push forward with these changes, the party currently lacks the parliamentary majority required for constitutional amendments. The plan is likely to be put to a vote after the upcoming parliamentary elections, with the party aiming to secure a constitutional majority.

The move has raised concerns among human rights advocates, who argue that the proposed changes constitute a violation of human rights and restrict freedoms of assembly and expression.

Broader Political Context

This initiative comes alongside "Georgian Dream's" renewed efforts to pass the law "on the transparency of foreign influence," likened to Russia's "foreign agents" law.

The first attempt to enact this law in spring 2023 was met with significant opposition from both the EU and the USA, leading to its withdrawal amid widespread protests. The decision to revisit the proposal has been criticized by Georgia's President, who asserts that it jeopardizes the country's European aspirations.

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