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Public Defender’s statement in connection with the International Day against Homophobia

On May 17, the entire world marks the International Day against Homophobia. This day is connected with the removal of homosexuality from the classification of diseases by the World Health Organization on May 17, 1990.
In a resolution adopted by the European Parliament, the term “homophobia” is defined as “an irrational fear of and aversion to homosexuality and to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people based on prejudice and similar to racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism and sexism.” The aforementioned definition of homophobia and equaling it with racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, and sexism clearly indicates how important it is to fight homophobia and eradicate it.
In spite of the progress achieved in terms of human rights, homophobia remains as one of the most important problems around the world, and, unfortunately, Georgia is no exception. Expressions of a negative attitude of the society towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people are frequent. Homophobic expressions or other kinds of actions often insult the concrete group of persons and contribute to the formation of stereotypes in the society.  

Equality is a leading value of any democratic state, and it should constitute a fundamental principle of the activity of all institutions. The development of tolerant values is one of the most important preconditions for the formation of democratic society, whereas homophobia causes disagreement and confrontation between social groups. Each of us should always keep in mind that it is necessary to respect and accept forms of self-expression and expressions of a person’s individuality.
I consider that contributing to a culture of tolerance, including taking an interest in the rights and problems of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people, should become a very important task for politicians and representatives of the civil sector and the media. It is only in this case that it will become possible for our state and society to develop in a democratic and liberal direction.
We should all together manage to create an environment, which will be free from any kind of hatred and in which everyone will be equal regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

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