May 17 (IDAHOT) is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. This day is celebrated in different countries by people for whom equality and human rights are the highest values. Along with the gathering and demonstration of the LGBTQI community in public, May 17 serves to inform the public about the needs of the community.
In Georgian reality, May 17 has been marked as the Day of struggle for Freedom of Assembly and Expression, a right that LGBTQI people and activists have been de facto deprivation of. For the LGBTQI community, the realization of the right to assembly and demonstration, as well as freedom of expression, is still particularly acute, as evidenced by the experience of May 17, 2013 and May 17 of each subsequent year.
Georgian law prohibits all forms of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Nevertheless, LGBTQI people experience oppression, discrimination, degrading treatment on a daily basis, they become victims of verbal and physical violence, and the state’s response to these issues is often inadequate.
The Open Society Foundation expresses its support and solidarity with members of the LGBTQI community and calls on the state to understand thoroughly its role in protecting the dignity, well-being and security of all members of society. The state is obliged to create real conditions for the enjoyment of rights, which, together with the policy of investigation and prevention of crime, implies long-term structural changes, including in the areas of fairness of healthcare system, access to education and prevention of violence.