Public Defender’s Statement on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and its celebration is related to the removal of homosexuality from the list of diseases by the World Health Organization in 1990.
Unfortunately, the celebration of the day of expression of solidarity and denunciation of violence is most often followed by violence and hatred against LGBT persons and their supporters.
Homophobic and transphobic attitudes, use of hate speech, unequal treatment on grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as violation of rights, remain to be challenges in Georgia. LGBT people do not feel safe in realizing important rights, such as education, employment, health care, etc.
In response to the existing problems, the steps taken by the state to improve the rights of LGBT people are still minimal and formal. The Public Defender of Georgia has been constantly indicating the importance of timely, effective and accountable investigation of the hate crimes committed on May 17, 2013, and the necessity of solving other challenges faced by LGBT people, but unfortunately a number of recommendations remain unimplemented.
We hope that the relevant agencies will take into account the past experience and will ensure high security during the celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on the basis of correct assessment of the threats of expected violence. In addition, it is important to raise public awareness of the idea and significance of this day and to reduce homophobic prejudice against LGBT people.
Representatives of the Public Defender of Georgia will observe the events taking place on the 17th of May throughout the country. In case of necessity, the population will be able to contact the Public Defender's hotline – 14 81 for 24 hours.