Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Georgia: Controversy over Anti-Discrimination Bill

(May 7, 2014) Irakli Gharibashvili, Georgia’s Prime Minister, recently spoke in support of a proposed law against discrimination now pending before Georgia’s parliament. He said that while the draft law would protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, it would not promote or grant special privileges to anyone. He added that it would also protect those with different skin color or with disabilities. (Georgian PM Says Proposed Anti-Discrimination Law to Be Adopted, INTERPRESS NEWS (Apr. 30, 2014), OPEN SOURCE CENTER online subscription database, CEL2014043065993876.)

Adoption of the anti-discrimination law would help Georgia meet European Union requirements to allow Georgians visa-free entry into the EU for short-term visits. (Georgia’s Orthodox Church Opposes Antidiscrimination Bill, RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY (Apr. 29, 2014).)

The proposal has been opposed by the Georgian Orthodox Church on the asserted grounds that the provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity would contradict the country’s traditional values. On April 28, 2014, the Church issued an official statement, arguing that the bill is “propaganda and [an effort for] legalization” of a “deadly sin.” (Id.)

While praising the Patriarch of the Church as wise, Gharibashvili stated that “we have an ambition and motivation to make our country a modern, strong and modernized state once and for all.” (Georgian PM Says Proposed Anti-Discrimination Law to Be Adopted, supra.) He noted that Moldova, which adopted anti-discrimination legislation in 2012, has already attained visa-free entry into EU countries for its citizens and that he hopes to reach that goal in two or three years for Georgians. The Prime Minister added that “I myself and my team are patriots and we are at the forefront of our national values. By adopting this law, we confirm the strength of our people and our country.” (Id.; Mixed Reactions to Adoption of Moldova’s Anti-Discrimination Law, ILGA EUROPE (May 25, 2012).)