Georgia Moves Family Values Bill To Curtail LGBT Rights

On Tuesday, Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili announced that the ruling Georgian Dream party would push forward with a bundle of bills titled "Protection of Family Values and Minors."

The Russian-style legislative package includes numerous new laws and amendments, such as bans on "LGBT propaganda" and gender reassignment surgery, along with restrictions on adoption and public gatherings related to same-sex relationships.

The bill has drawn sharp criticism from LGBT activists, human rights groups, and international observers.

The proposed package includes the following key points:

  • Marriage Ban: The bill explicitly bans any form of marriage other than between a man and a woman. It also prevents individuals who identify as a different gender from their biological sex and non-heterosexual individuals, including singles, from adopting children.
  • Sex Identification: The law prohibits the identification of a person's gender as different from their biological sex in state-issued documents.
  • Gender Reassignment Surgery: Gender reassignment surgery and other types of medical intervention for gender transition will be prohibited.
  • Educational Restrictions: The bill bans what is called "LGBT propaganda" in educational institutions (information about gender identity, same-sex or transgender relationships).
  • Media Reporting: Broadcasters will be prohibited from showing scenes depicting same-sex or transgender relationships. The use of such content in advertisements or print media will also be banned.
  • Public Gatherings: Public meetings, demonstrations, or parades aimed at promoting or celebrating identification with a different gender, same-sex relationships, or other "non-traditional family" values will be prohibited.
  • Employment: Any obligations requiring public or private employers to disregard biological sex will be void.
  • Public Display: References to LGBTQ+ community and issues will be removed from public use, including schools, media, and advertisements.

The legislative package will go through its first hearing in the spring parliamentary session and is expected to be adopted in the fall session. Papuashvili noted that there would be opportunities for public discussion on the proposal.

This announcement follows the recent adoption of the "foreign agents" law, which has already sparked significant controversy and protests. The Georgian Dream party accuses Western countries of using NGOs to spread "LGBT propaganda" and destabilize the domestic situation.

Critics argue that the bill aims to distract from pressing economic issues and appeal to conservative voters ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for October.

It is likely to attract scrutiny from the European Union and the United States. Both have expressed concerns over Georgia's recent legislative actions, warning that such moves could jeopardize the country's EU candidate status, which it achieved in December last year.