In parallel to endorsing an anti-discrimination bill, which will now be submitted to Parliament for confirmation, the Georgian government has also proposed to define marriage in the constitution as a “union of man and woman.” The proposal, as PM Irakli Garibashvili put it, aims at avoiding “speculation” over the planned anti-discrimination legislation, which will provide protection against discrimination on the ground of, among others, sexual orientation. Adoption of this legislation is among requirements set in Georgia’s Visa Liberalisation Action Plan with the EU. Article 36 of the Georgian constitution currently reads: “Marriage shall be based upon equality of rights and free will of spouses.” Same-sex marriage is already banned in Georgia’s civil code, which defines marriage as “voluntary union of man and woman.”For the European Union to accept the proposed ‘solution’ would make a mockery of the very idea of anti-discrimination legislation they are trying to enforce. This would be a dangerous precedent, indeed. What is a point of anti-discrimination bill if as a result of its approval you are getting discrimination constitutionally reinforced?! I’d say better not have such legislation at all.
If Georgia is not ready yet to move closer towards the EU, then it's not ready. The EU should never agree with such artificial and unacceptable trade-off, which is nothing less than throwing dust in the eyes.
As Georgian gay rights group Identoba noted, the country is on a “dangerous path” with proposed homophobic amendment in the constitution.
[…] Campaigning on xenophobic and recently, on homophobic grounds has been a strategy of choice for most political players in the country, since it gained independence in the 1990s. The initiative came as shock to many, since the issue of same-sex marriage has never come to the agenda of LGBT movement in Georgia which has struggled to exercise basic rights to security and protection. In 2012 and in 2013, under UNM and GD parties being in power, respectively, Georgia has consistently failed to ensure the freedom of assembly for Georgian LGBT activists. Georgia has not been able to persecute a single person for the horrific attacks against LGBT activists and supporters on May 17th, IDAHO day. Therefore, constitutionally banning the prospect of marriage equality, already banned by Georgia’s Civil Code, can only be seen as a homophobic move. It further deteriorates already feeble state of LGBT human rights in Georgia. If the amendment is successfully initiated, it will directly violate universal equality of single parents, LGBT community and many others who do not live nuclear families. Alarmingly, this homophobic and cynical move ultimately kills the very spirit of equality protection of incoming Anti-Discrimination Law. Identoba, Georgia’s largest LGBT and gender equality protection NGO calls on all parties to speak up against proposed changes in Georgia’s Constitution.