Georgia’s other Russian-style law is fueling a bitter culture war

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05/19/2024

TBILISI — “No racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia,” reads a sign in a small vegan café in the center of the Georgian capital, an EU flag pinned across the counter. “The other day, I was looking at a picture I took in 2013 with my friends who are queer activists, and I realized 90 percent of them have now left for other European countries,” said Atina Bregvadze, a feminist campaigner in Tbilisi, for whom the café is one of just a few remaining welcoming places. At the same time, outside, thousands of parents, children and priests clad in black robes were gathering in the streets for a rally to celebrate “Family Purity Day,” the public holiday declared by the government to rival Friday’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

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