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Constitutional Amendments Drafted by CDM Are Discriminative

Nongovernmental organization Article 42 of Constitution and Women’s Initiative Supporting Group respond to Giorgi Targamadze’s speech in the parliament – leader of the Christian-Democratic Movement. 

The organizations believe Targamadze’s initiative to introduce amendments to the Constitution of Georgia to protect Moral Interests of Society, is discriminative.

Violation of equality principle without well-grounded motives contradicts fundamental rights that will negatively impact on every aspect of public life.

Article 14 of the European Convention prohibits all forms of discrimination and states that the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground. Additional Protocol 12 to the European Convention extends frames of prohibited discrimination and underlines that equality principle shall be preserved when enjoying any right.

The purpose of the non-discrimination is to ensure equal and fair access to general benefits for every individual.

On May 22 leader of the Christian Democrat Movement initiated five-paragraph draft-amendments to the Constitution of Georgia in the Parliament. He said the motive of drafting the amendments was the statement released by the Georgian Patriarchate and demonstration celebrating International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17 in Tbilisi; Targamadze said it was Gay Parade. 

Every person is free from birth and equal before the law. The proposed constitutional amendments contradict this particular equality principle. This initiative might hinder peaceful coexistence of people and cause their segregation.

Additionally, the proposed constitutional amendments contradict such fundamental rights like freedom of peaceful assembly and manifestation, freedom of expression, right to receive and disseminate information. Fundamental rights shall not be restricted based on cultural, traditional and religious values as well as because of rules of dominant culture. The draft-amendments introduce a term “Public Moral” that is evaluative category and it shall not be   mentioned in a state constitution.

Georgia is multinational country where people of different religion, ethnicity and traditions have lived for many centuries. All of them are equal before the law and similar amendments might cause controversy between them.

The proposed amendments, which underscore particular advantage of Christian religion and Christians in general, fully contradict the equality principles and hinder peaceful coexistence of people. One particular group shall not enjoy privileges and discriminate all other communities in any democratic state.

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