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Roundtable Discussion - Public Perception of LGBT Community in Georgia: The Role of Media and Legislative Deficiencies

On May 25, 2012 the Institute for War and Peace Reporting is holding a round-table discussion entitled Public Perception of LGBT Community in Georgia: The Role of Media and Legislative Deficiencies.

Despite some progress in creating legislative protections for the rights of sexual minority groups, many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons are unable to exercise fully their fundamental human rights in Georgia. They often face hostility from traditional religious groups and other sections of society, and LGBT community members are often the targets of abuse and physical violence.

The aim of the IWPR event is to identify legislative deficiencies, and challenges to implementing the legal provisions that do exist, with regard to sexual minorities; and to examine the causes of intolerance and prejudice that exist in various parts of Georgian society.

A representative of Georgia’s Public Defender will set out an analysis of LGBT rights in Georgia.

The event will include a presentation on the latest media monitoring report from Internews Georgia, undertaken as part of the project Addressing Hate Speech in Georgia: A Litmus Test for Human Rights and Social Tolerance.

“As a rule, homophobic statements in the media about sexual minorities imply that the country is descending into immorality, that Georgians are becoming degenerate, and that Orthodox Christianity is under attack,” Giorgi Tabagari, a media researcher at Internews Georgia, says, adding that in an environment where LGBT issues remain taboo, holding public debates is important. 

The main speakers at the round table will include Sophie Benashvili, deputy head of the justice department at the Office of the Public Defender; Giorgi Gotsiridze, a lawyer with the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; Giorgi Tabagari, media researcher, Internews Georgia, and chair of LGBT Georgia; and Natia Gviniashvili, board member of the Identity group. The discussion will be moderated by Shorena Latatia, project coordinator with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

The working language will be Georgian; guests who need translation into other languages will need to arrange interpretation themselves.

The event is taking place under the aegis of Building Bridges/Building Capacity: Conflict Prevention in the South Caucasus, an IWPR project supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The event will be held at the office of IWPR (7B Dzmebi Zubalashvilebi Street, office 22/23) on Friday, 25 May, 4:00 p.m.

For additional information contact Shorena Latatia:, (+995 598) 519 1 6, (+995 32) 299 01 01


IWPR strengthens local media at the frontlines of conflict and change, working in two-dozen countries and territories around the world. This includes establishing independent local media; training local reporters, editors and producers; supporting extensive in-depth reporting on human rights, good governance and related issues; disseminating professional reporting in developing countries and internationally; and strengthening communications capacity of local human rights, international justice and women’s organisations. IWPR in the Netherlands focuses on international justice programming. 







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