Target: Tea Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice of Georgia
Goal: Increased protection for gay rights activists and consequences for riot leaders
Orthodox priests in Georgia led thousands of people in an attack on about 50 gay rights demonstrators. If things stay as they are, the priests will go unpunished, since they are considered to be above the law in Georgia, and the demonstrators will be forced to live in fear. Sign the petition in order to demand that the priests be punished for their violent and discriminatory actions.
In Tbilisi, Georgia, gay rights demonstrators found themselves under an attack, lead by priests of the Georgian Orthodox Church, whose leader stated that gay rights rallies violate “the rights of the majority”. Due to the priests’ legal immunity, they and their followers were able to walk past the police cordons, resulting in eight to nine demonstrators and three policemen being hospitalized. These priests punched people, threw rocks, and pounded on the buses, as the police tried to evacuate the demonstrators, in an attempt to further harass and injure, possibly even kill, the people inside.
“They wanted to kill all of us,” said the leader of the gay rights advocacy group, Irakli Vacharadze. That sentiment was echoed by one of the group’s lawyers, who felt that their nearness to the buses was the only thing preventing them from all becoming corpses.
In no country should anyone be above the law. If these priests remain immune to police intervention, they will only continue to scare, threaten, and injure those who don’t agree with their beliefs. Sign this petition in order to demand the Georgian Orthodox priests face consequences for their actions.
Dear Minister Tsulukiani,
As you know, the Georgian Orthodox Church feels that gay rights rallies taint morality and that rallies interfere with rights of the majority, yet it is priests from that church who have demonstrated a lapse in morality and violated the rights of others. Punching people and throwing stones at unarmed civilians are actions of a far more sordid nature than one would expect to befit a priest.
However, if they are going to comport themselves like criminals, they must be treated as such, or they will only continue to instill fear and injure. Please advocate for a change in your laws. I understand that the police cannot interfere with or punish priests for their actions, but measures can be taken to ensure that all citizens are free from harm with or without the approval of the Orthodox Church. I believe that in a country as wonderful as Georgia, everyone ought to be considered equal in the eyes of the law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ggia via Creative Commons