TBILISI -- Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has rejected a petition for a referendum on defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Announcing his decision late on August 9, Margvelashvili said that the referendum on the issue cannot be held as it is already defined by the Georgian Civil Code that marriage is a voluntary union of a man and a woman
The referendum was initiated by a group that in July presented the signatures of more than 200,000 citizens to the Central Election Commission -- the number of signatures required for a referendum application to move ahead.
Earlier in 2016, Georgian citizen Giorgi Tatishvili petitioned the country’s Constitutional Court to legalize same-sex marriage.
In March, the ruling Georgian Dream coalition said marriage between a man and woman must be enshrined in the constitution to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Antigay sentiments are strong in the former Soviet republic.