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Georgian Church Sets 'Family-Values Day' On Anti-Homophobia Day

Patriarch Ilia II says Georgia's new antidiscrimination law is a "huge sin" that legalizes "illegality."
The head of the Georgian Orthodox Church has called on Georgians to mark a new day of "Strength of Family and Respect for Parents" on the same day as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, May 17.

The May 11 statement by Patriarch Ilia II comes four days after Georgia's antidiscrimination law, which was opposed by the church, came into effect.

Last week Ilia said the proposed law was a "huge sin" that would legalize "illegality."

He said it will be rejected by Orthodox followers because it includes "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" on a list of things that people may not be discriminated against.

The adoption of the antidiscrimination law is a requirement for Georgia under its visa liberalization action plan that it must follow to be granted a short-term visa-free regime by the European Union.
With reporting by