Radicalization in the Name of Religion and against Political Opponents – by whom and what Reason is the Pride March used for?

;

The statement of Tbilisi Pride regarding the planned events on July 1-5 aimed at protecting the LGBTQ+ rights (including the Pride March planned on July 5th on Rustaveli Ave.) was followed by violent, homophobic and anti-Western messages by hate groups.

The following report consists of two parts, which, on the one hand, analyze the messages aimed at discrediting campaigns against Tbilisi Pride and, on the other hand, showcase homophobic campaigns existing in social media.

From June 1st to July 3rd, Media Development Foundation observed the traditional and social media and uncovered actors and messages linked with the anti-Pride campaign. Quantitative data illustrates the same period, while the qualitative part also includes examples from the later period.

Main findings of the Research
Messages

Apart from messages cultivated during the entire month, days before the planned Pride event, on July 4th and 5th, two critical statements were made. One by the pro-Kremlin party, the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia and the other by the ruling party. The spread of these messages further enabled the radicalization of the situation.

  1. On the protest organized by the Alliance of Patriots, Davit Tarkhan-Mouravi – one of the political leaders – linked Pride with Biden Administration, USAID, US Department of State and the other US and EU-led pseudo-liberal organizations. (See below)
  2. Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili linked the Pride March with the United National Movement (UNM) and Mikheil Saakashvili and labelled the events as an effort of creating disorder and underscored the willingness of the government to avoid it.

As indicated on the diagram below, 10 main messages have become prominent:

  1. The West imposes homosexuality on us/plans a gay revolution;
  2. Homosexuality is a sin/illness/perverse lifestyle;
  3. Pride propagates a perverse lifestyle/disregards the rights of the majority;
  4. Holding Pride is not reasonable;
  5. Violence against LGBT people is justified;
  6. Suppression of Pride = Protection of the Church and orthodoxy;
  7. Political parties are linked with the LGBTQ+ community;
  8. Russia protects traditional identities;
  9. Pride = Losing Abkhazia and Samachablo;
  10. LGBTQ+ community is aggressive/ they are radicals;

Campaign in Social Media

Due to the monitoring of Myth Detector, 28 Facebook pages, 23 Facebook groups and several individual profiles have been identified, through which far-right, conservative, Kremlin-tied, religious actors have been spreading messages of hate speech in social media and mobilizing citizens to participate in anti-Pride protests.

  • Six new Facebook pages have been identified that are tied with Alt-Info. Five of them were created in June 2021, while the remaining in July;
  • Homophobic, violent and anti-Western messages were spread by hate groups using no less than 28 Facebook pages, 23 groups and some individual accounts;
  • Footages of Far-right and pro-Kremlin groups were shared by the founder of Eurasia Movement, far-right philosopher Aleksandr Dugin on his personal page;
  •  An Anti-Western discreditation campaign has been identified, claiming that homosexuality is being imposed by the West. The aforementioned campaign was directed against US Ambassador Kelly Degnan.
  • The attempt to link Pride with political parties in social media – in some cases with the opposition, while in others with the ruling party- was motivated by the aim of discreditation;
  • Hate groups were publicly shaming the Public Ombudsman, politicians and governmental bodies for expressing the solidarity to Pride;
  • Several attempts of spreading disinformation have been identified, most of which concerned the LGBTQ+ prides in other countries;

Part I. Homophobic and anti-Pride Messages

1.1 Sources

Within the framework of the research, 238 comments have been analyzed. The sources of which mainly consisted of Media (84), individual members of the society (48), Politicians (45), and Clerics (35).

Diagram 1.  

1

Affiliated with Levan Vasadze, pro-Kremlin TV channel Alt-Info represents the most prominent media source of Pride-linked messages (59), followed by “Georgia and World,” which is also characterized by a pro-Russian editorial policy, TV channel of the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia – “TV Obieqtivi” (6) and far-right “Asaval-Dasavali” (3). Among political parties, the Pro-Kremlin Alliance of Patriots takes the lead (11), followed by the messages of the ruling party “Georgian Dream” (9) about the unacceptability for the protests to take place.  The remaining places are shared by: “Unity, Essence, Hope” – led by Levan Vasadze (7), “Georgian Idea” (6) and “Georgian March” (5).

Diagram 2. Sources of Homophobic and anti-Pride Messages by Media and Parties

1
Out of clerics, Spiridon Tskipurishvili, Shalva Kekelia and Giorgi Razmadze were the most active.

Clerics

#

Spiridon Tskipurishvili, Archpriest

7

Shalva Kekelia, Archpriest

6

Giorgi Razmadze, Archpriest

4

Patriarchate

4

Vladimer Vakhtangadze, Archpriest

2

Giorgi Djamdeliani, Bishop

2

Father Stephane, Metropolitan of Tchkondidi

2

Father Ilarion, Bishop of Mestia and Zemo Svaneti

2

Other

6

As for the non-governmental organizations, Primakov Georgian-Russian Public Center and Child Rights Protection Society were the most dynamic.

Civil Society Organizations

#

Primakov Georgian-Russian Public Center

8

Child Right Protection Society

8

Georgian Mission

4

Development Laboratory of Georgia

4

Other

2

1.2. Messages

Anti-Western Messages: As indicated on the Message Diagram, most of the comments had an anti-Western character (62), where, on the one hand, the West was blamed for the imposition of homosexuality upon Georgia, on the other hand, individual threats and attacks were directed towards the members of the European Parliament and the whole diplomatic corps, including the US Ambassador, whose statements regarding the protection of the fundamental human rights were portrayed as the intervention into the internal affairs of the state.

Diagram 3. Typology of Homophobic and anti-Pride Messages

2

  1. The West Imposes Homosexuality on Us

Zura Makharadze, TV-host at Alt-Info: “We will join NATO after hosting the anal parade. Once the perverse parade passes Rustaveli Avenue, NATO will follow it.”

Bondo Mdzinarashvili, Member of the Board of Trustees at the Georgian Public Broadcaster: “Why does the opinion of 30 MEPs regarding Pride matter? If they say not to resist, not to ban this Pride or something, will people here say: since 30 MEPs said so, how not to consider their account?!”

  1. Threaten Calls towards Ambassadors

Georgian Patriarchate: “For our Church and our citizens, the blatant intervention of some embassies and members of the European Parliament into our social and spiritual life is disturbing and unacceptable. We think that this is beyond their competency.”

Levan Vasadze, “Unity, Essence, Hope”: “This is in addition to the impudent, impregnable, shameful actions of the Western diplomatic corps, which were warned by the nation and the mother-church several times that this is unacceptable for us. They impudently continue to harm themselves, as they harm the images of their countries in Georgia.”

Zura Makharadze, TV-Host at Alt-Info: „There will be an unprecedented unity of the Georgian nation, and we will show this unity to the whole diplomatic corps, viceregents from outside, to the colonial administration and their lackeys in the government and the opposition that the conservative drive will not perish in one day, it will conserve and transform into a political movement.”

Shota Martinenko, TV-Host at Alt-Info: “Every type of pro-Westernism is the same as supporting homosexuality, and if you want patriotism to be included in the pro-Western positions, then make your ambassadors say that it is up to Georgians what kind of cultural politics we pursue. Make them say that they are only interested in geopolitical partnership and the decision whether to permit the gay parade or not is the sovereign decision of the Georgian people!”

  1. Messages against the US Ambassador

Guram Palavandishvili, Child Rights Protection Society: “It has been for many years now that the US is pursuing the moral occupation of independent Georgia through its embassy… You are directly involved in organizing this year’s evil ritual, which aims to defile our country. We demand the expulsion of Georgia’s moral enemies and occupiers from the country.”

Giorgi Razmadze, Archpriest: “Who can guarantee that the thing that is planned by the LGBTs and supported by you [addressing Kelly Degnan] would not lead us to a large societal explosion?! Who could guarantee that this will not be followed by severe results, similar of which have already happened more than once in the world?!”

Lasha Amirejibi, Public Assembly: “Madam Ambassador, I sincerely ask you not to intervene so harshly in the internal affairs of our country… Moreover, please, do not fight our mother-church.”

Hate Speech. Anti-Western comments are followed by hate speech messages, which portray homosexuality as illness, deviation, perversion and connect it with paedophilia and murder (56).

  1. Homosexuality is an illness, deviation and perversion

Georgian Patriarchate: “…Let us show the world that we are protecting our dignity and the imposed attempts of perversion are unacceptable for us.”

Levan Vasadze, Unity, Essence, Hope: “It is the duty of every conservative person not to let these fiends break the spine of the moral code of Georgia.

Bondo Mdzinarashvili, Member of the Board of Trustees at the Georgian Public Broadcaster: “ When a human is born, it’s either male or female. I understand that this happens afterwards in the psyche and not by mimicking. But even if it’s psychic, even though they don’t think so, it is a psychic deviation, disorder or something of that kind.”

  1. Equaling homosexuality with paedophilia and murder

Malkhaz Topuria, The Alliance of Patriots of Georgia: “Why don’t paedophiles make their own parade? Are they less perverted or what?.. If we let you, you will eventually transform into rapists and sadists.”

Giorgi Kardava, TV-Host at “Alt-Info”: “This kind of people are born in every nation and every civilization similar to the bandits, paedophiles and other people with mental disorders. But you have asked for more.”

The freedom of expression of the LGBTQ+ community was portrayed as the propagation of a perverse lifestyle and the neglection of the majority rights (31):

Spiridon Tskipurishvili, Archpriest: “ They are deliberately trying to establish the propaganda of the heaviest sin – Sodomy. To hold Marches (i.e. Prides) in the central street of the capital. This signifies that they want to legitimize sodomy.”

Holding Pride is not reasonable. Statements of similar content (31), motivated mainly by the political conjuncture, were voiced by the violent groups, the government and the part of the parliamentary opposition. For instance:

Irakli Gharibashvili, Prime Minister: “I believe holding the Pride March is unreasonable. Today’s demonstration entails the danger of civil confrontation. Not to mention, for the majority of the population, holding the rally is unacceptable.  Therefore, I believe the aforementioned demonstration should not be held on Rustaveli Avenue.“

Several Messages have emerged whose authors manipulated using Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and claimed that the government could acquire the right not to permit Tbilisi Pride.

Unity, Essence, Hope”: “Paragraph 2 of the Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights represents the legal ground to cancel the aforementioned demonstration.”

Call for Violence and Threats.  Comments that were stimulating violence (21) were voiced not only by the TV channel “Alt-Info” - linked with Levan Vasadze but also by Bondo Mdzinarashvili - Member of the Board of Trustees at the Georgian Public Broadcaster, and several clerics.

Bondo Mdzinarashvili, Member of the Board of Trustees at the Georgian Public Broadcaster:” I say that one shall not murder anybody, as violence is not acceptable. Now, imagine someone comes to you and starts to provoke you using different means. Once you answer him, wouldn’t the responsibility of your actions be shared with that person since he was the one provoking you? Because he was provoking you until you hit him in the head, right?!”

Konstantine Morgoshia, The founder of Alt-Info: “Alternative for Georgia” and “Alt-Info” will obviously start to mobilize people, and I am sure that there will be many of us. So that they will not only be able to hold the March, but they would find it inconceivable that something similar might ever happen. No one will be able to protect them. I am telling you this directly!”

Spiridon Tskipurishvili, Archpriest: “On the 5th, at Rustaveli Ave, we have to break the supporters of sodomy. We have to tear them to pieces, shatter them… In case they use arms against us, their spines will be broken… They will be shattered, and it will be inevitable.”

Basil Iashaghashvili, Archpriest: “When someone is holding a poster of perversion, someone will go and take it away without beating and punching. I believe this is not violence.”

Suppression of Pride = Protection of the Church and orthodoxy. The main actors seeking to instrumentalize religion and portraying the Pride March as the fight against the Church and orthodoxy are the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, Georgian March and other groups which seek to obtain political dividends using identity-related issues (17).

David Tarkhan-Mouravi, the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia: “Pseudo-liberal organizations of the US and Europe are fighting against the orthodox Church of Georgia. The official organizations that operate here, such as USAID, also participate in the fight against the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church is being opposed by the Biden Administration and the Department of State.

Irma Inashvili, the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia: “The constant abuse of the Church and the clergy is, I believe, clear to everyone… They have one goal – to make the Church abandon all hope, to make it surrender. We have to be also scared and raise our children as irreligious and LGBT-loving.”

Sandro Bregadze, Georgian March: “This problem was artificially created for the event, which is planned by Ms Lomjaria, liberal groups and political parties in the nearest future. The Church had to be under pressure… The Church had to be in the defence mode so that they could discredit it as soon as they can. They must’ve humiliated its name before July 5th. And why before July 5th? On July 5th, the same groups that have initiated the superficial scandal are planning to have the last battle. I hope this will be their Waterloo. This is the gay parade.”

Russia protects traditional values. In light of portraying the West as the archenemy of the Orthodox Church, several statements were made about Russia legally banning homosexuality.

Davit Mkheidze, Georgia and World: “They should, by the way, introduce the same law as in Russia, which bans the gay propaganda among minors. This means that hosting Pride will not be permitted, as minors would see it as well…”

Kremlin-tied Levan Vasadze and the host at his satellite TV channel “Alt-Info” were equaling Pride with losing Abkhazia and Samachablo occupied by Russia.

Levan Vasadze, Unity, Essence, Hope: “Pride poses a serious threat to our re-integration with Abkhazians and Ossetians. Foreign Ambassadors, please don’t be involved in this Pride. Remain in embassies.”

Zura Makharadze, TV host at “Alt-Info”: “If they [LBGT community] win, we will lose even the slightest chance of speaking with our Abkhaz and Ossetian brothers regarding the idea of a shared state. This is the Caucasus, and in the Caucasus, no one speaks with a country that hosts a parade for normalizing perversion on its central avenue.

Linking political parties with the LGBT community.

Clerics and other members of the society were actively linking Tbilisi Pride with political parties and, in selected cases, with the opposition.

Irakli Gharibashvili, Prime Minister: “Unfortunately, the organizers of today’s demonstration are backed by radical revanchist groups. Specifically, the revanchist opposition led by Saakashvili. They are involved in this, and I say this with full responsibility, they are organizing the March, which aims to bring chaos and civil unrest to our country.”

Levan Vasadze, “Unity, Essence, Hope”: “I see the betrayal to the Georgian nation, to the Georgian tradition by the whole political spectrum… Betrayal by the Georgian Dream, which introduced the Anti-discrimination Law, by the 15 political parties, which signed the LGBT manifesto… Betrayal by the newly-created party of Gakharia, whose deputy – Ms Mezvrishvili stated that Pride should be held.”

Arno Khidirbegishvili, Editor-in-Chief of “Sakinform”: “The increased cases of paedophilia in Georgia are directly linked with the accelerated propaganda of homosexuality by Saakashvili’s party United National Movement, “Mtavari Arkhi” of Gvaramia-Gabunia, “Media Development Foundation” of Tamar Kintsurashvili, deputies like Kordzaia, Samnidze and their like-minded people! So, make a choice, Georgians: Either gay-parade and “UNM” or the Church and the “Georgian Dream.”


Part II. Homophobic Campaign on Social Media

Statements regarding Tbilisi Pride were followed by threats and messages of homophobic content on social media as well.

New Accounts of Alt-Info

Out of 28 Facebook pages, six are newly-created. These pages were predominantly spreading the footages of Alt-Info and Levan Vasadze's party "Unity, Essence, Hope." These accounts are linked with the newly-created page "Alt Information" belonging to Alt-Info.

Facebook Account

Registration Date

Alt ინფორმაცია (Alt-Information)
;

July 2nd, 2021

სარკრაზმელები (Sarkrazmelebi)
;

June 29th, 2021

ეროვნული იდეოლოგია-უალტერნატივოა 
(National Ideology is without Alternative)
;

June 16th, 2021

ტრადიციონალისტური პლატფორმა 
(Traditionalist Platform)
;

June 14th, 2021

‼️მნიშვნელოვანი‼️ (!!Important!!)
;

June 30th, 2021

კონსერვატორი (Conservative)
;

June 7th, 2021


The activity of the Newly-Created Pages

The first post of "Sarkrazmelebi" is a video of Alt-Info, in which far-right actors call upon the public to join the anti-Pride demonstration planned on July 5th.
;
The video was shared to 13 public groups: (ჩვენ გვიყვარს საქართველო ❤️, ლუსტრაცია, გარყვნილების წინააღმდეგ!!!, საქართველოსთვის შეფიცულნი, ბიძინა ივანიშვილის მეგობრები "ფეისბუქზე", «მართლმადიდებლობა», ქართველი მართლმადიდებლები❤, პატრიოტთა ალიანსის მხარდამჭერები, ,,სიმართლის გზა", გასამართლდეს ნაციონალური მოძრაობა!, ლევან ვასაძის მხარდამჭერები levan vasadze, ლევან ვასაძის და ეროვნული ფლანგის, მსოფლიო ქართველთა მხარდამჭერები🇬🇪❗❗❗🇬🇪✝სამშობლოს არვის დავუთმობთ!!!....✝🇬🇪.

 


Facebook page "!!Important!!" is allegedly managed by the supporter of the party "Unity, Essence, Hope" and Alt-Info - Arsen Popkhadze, who attended the anti-Pride demonstration on July 5th.

;

 

;
Alt-Info videos promoting violence and including hate speech are being shared on the page.
;

Alt-Info-related Facebook group "Traditionalist Platform," created on June 14th, 2021, encouraged Facebook users through a sponsored post to attend the anti-Pride demonstration on July 5th. On July 3rd, another post got sponsored, which also announced the counter-Pride rally planned on July 5th.

;

Footages present on the "Traditionalist Platform", and the recently-created page share the same content, demonstrating the connection between the two.

The day after the removal of the main Facebook page of the Alt-Info, a new page Alt Information was created. In addition, the above-mentioned "Traditionalist Platform" sponsored the post similar to the first post published by Alt-Information.

 


;
Like the other newly-created counterparts, the Facebook page "National Ideology is without Alternative" also shares the footages of Alt-Info.

;
In June 2021, a new Facebook group "Conservative" was created. The page uses the picture of Father Spiridon as the profile picture, while its “about us" section indicates that "Liberalism must End." The videos of Alt-Info and Levan Vasadze are mostly shared on the page. In addition, on June 17th, the page has spread disinformation regarding the judgement of the case "Russia vs Georgia" delivered by the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights.

;
Until July 1st, apart from the main page of Alt-Info, the statements of the far-right groups were spread by the following nationalist pages: ( ქაქუცა ჩოლოყაშვილის საზოგადოება,დედამიწის ანგელოზებიდადუმებული ქართველობა, Fაქტები,ქართული გვერდი / Georgian Page, პატრიოტული გვერდი, საქართველო უპირველეს ყოვლისა) After the removal of the official Facebook page of Alt-Info, all the posts shared by these pages have also vanished.

 

Violent groups in the focus of Russia

The posts regarding Pride of Alt-Info and Levan Vasadze were actively shared by the personal page of the founder of the Eurasia Movement, far-right philosopher Aleksandr Dugin.
;

On July 5th, the demonstration held by violent groups in front of the Georgian Parliament was live-streamed by Russia Today for an hour.
;
Other pro-Russian actors

The founder of "Patrioti TV" - Giorgi Iremadze, who is actively involved in the campaign against the Lugar Laboratory and cooperates with the TV channel "Zvezda" owned by the Defense Ministry of Russia, was sharing the live stream of Zurab Makharadze (TV-Host at Alt-Info). He was encouraging the population to join the anti-Pride demonstration and, through Patrioti TV, was calling the "gay-defending government" to cancel Tbilisi Pride.

;

On June 30th, Shota Apkhaidze - the founder of the Center for Fighting Islamist Terrorism - who is labelled as the editor NewsFront in its 2020 February edition, has emphasized in one of his posts that apart from the Sultans of the Ottoman Turkey, Georgia is being controlled by the LGBT community.
;

Hate speech

Meanwhile, a significant amount of homophobic messages involving hate speech were spread among various Facebook pages (საქართველოს ფსიქიატრიული რესპუბლიკა, ქაქუცა ჩოლოყაშვილის საზოგადოება, ეროვნული იდეოლოგია -უალტერნატივოა, მოძრაობა ძლევაი საკვირველი, ტრადიციონალისტური პლატფორმა) and groups (კორონამაფია და საქართველო როგორც საექსპერტიმენტო ქვეყანა, "!!!დედათა ლაშქარი!!!"", Ნაძალადევის მაჟორიტარი კანდიდატი გია ყრუაშვილის მხარდამჭერები, ლევან ვასაძის და ეროვნული ფლანგის, მსოფლიო ქართველთა მხარდამჭერები🇬🇪❗❗❗, 🔴✅🇬🇪ერთობა🇬🇪✅🔴, ანტი-მასონობა. „ანტიქრისტეს“ ახალი მსოფლიო წესრიგი (NWO); ანტი-ეკუმენიზმი, ჩვენ გვიყვარს საქართველო ❤️). Most of them were associating the LGBT community with illness, deviation, perversion an equaling it with satanism and pedophilia.

 


Anti-Western Messages
Several anti-Western messages became prevalent in social media, most of which accused the West of imposing homosexuality on Georgia. Furthermore, most of these messages claimed that the share of Western pseudo-values is being instigated by Georgian' liber-devils'.
;

Facebook account "სუვერენული სახელმწიფო" (Sovereign State), which was found spreading disinformation several times, portrayed Pride as the embodiment of the fight of the West against Christian values. The account claimed that globalists are using the LGBT community to pursue their own interests that include: change in fundamental values, decrease in birth rate and weakening the nation-state.

;
Within the anti-Western messages, threats towards the Western ambassadors (especially towards Kelly Degnan) became noticeable. On June 29th, the Patriarchate of Georgia has also issued a special statement regarding Tbilisi Pride. The Patriarchate called the Foreign Embassies and the 30 Members of the European Parliament working on the LGBTQ+ topics to avoid supporting and encouraging "Tbilisi Pride."


On July 1st, a special "address of the fathers to the nation and clerics" was also published, in which clerics called upon the Ambassadors not to encourage the "sin of sodomy."

Clerics: "I want to address not the poor people who speak publicly, who are probably forced to do so, or the NGOs supporting them, but to ones backing them. My dear friends! Westerners, ambassadors promoting this sin by holding LBGT flags in your hands…  We want to be friends with you, but not in this way, not with these values. We want to do so through faith, morality, appreciation of national interests, and mutual respect."

"Child Right Protection Society" – the organization of Guram Palavandishvili has started demonstrations since June 30th. They called upon the Council of Europe to cease the pressure on the Georgian people to hold the LGBT Pride.
;
Facebook account "Sovereign State" has shared the fragment of the statement of the US ambassador regarding the LGBTQ community using the same comment: "The forcing on our nation is evident. This is a directive towards change. There is no sign of freedom or development in this. There can never be freedom in a directive. It's time to shatter the illusion that the West respects our values, our identity. The West pushes us towards a worse path than before, a path from which we once managed to escape. She doesn't need us to be called Georgians; she needs us to be called her experiments. She wants us to be products needed for her world modernization, where nations and religions no longer persist."
;
Irakli Jankarashvili - the author of Tvalsazrisi.ge has labelled Kelly Degnan as the Gay ambassador and the main enemy of the Georgian nation. A post with identical content was also published by Facebook user Giorgi Khvedelidze.

;
The informational agency of Nikoloz Mzhavandze - the chair of the "Union of Rights Defenders" – TaoNews.ge has published a post aimed at discrediting the US and other Western ambassadors using the following description: "US ambassador Kelly Degnan participated in an LGBT community support event in Italy."
;
Kelly Degnan was also addressed by the page "No to Gender and LGBT propaganda;

"Ms Kelly, Promoting the immorality of sodomy is violence. Holding a parade of perverse-underwear rally in front of Children is violence against society, which will not let this happen in Tbilisi.  You were sent to Georgia by Mr Donald Trump, who believes that the LGBT+ movement worships Satan on earth. So, do you really wish to spread evil on earth?"

;
In addition, a Facebook group, "Dedakalaki" (The Capital), published a post that claims that the statement made by Kelly Degnan ("Ones who wish to interfere with the peaceful demonstration using hate and disgust, they violate the Georgian Constitution) contradicts the fundamental rights of children.

;

Linking political parties with the LGBTQ+ community

The attempts of linking Pride with political parties – in some cases with the opposition, while in others with the ruling party were prevalent in social media. Several Facebook pages (კორონამაფია და საქართველო როგორც საექსპერიმენტო ქვეყანა, Ნაძალადევის მაჟორიტარი კანდიდატი გია ყრუაშვილის მხარდამჭერები, ""!!!დედათა ლაშქარი!!!"" , ''მოქალაქე’’ არასამთავრობო ორგანიზაცია, გასამართლდეს ნაციონალური მოძრაობა)   labelled the LGBT+ supporting governments as anti-national. At the same time, the list of politicians who have signed the general agreement on LGBTQ+ rights was circulated by pro-Governmental and pro-Gakharia pages (საინფორმაციო ბლოგი - Informative Blog, მნიუსი Mnews).


Facebook page "საქართველოს ფსიქიატრიული რესპუბლიკა" (Psychiatric Republic of Georgia), which was sharing the live-stream of Zurab Makharadze on July 1st, was calling the government "Government of gays" because they supported the protection of the LGBT community.

;
Pro-governmental Facebook page საინფორმაციო ბლოგი - Informative Blog, which labels itself as media outlet, has published the list of the 15 political parties, which have expressed support for the LGBTQ+ community.

 

 


The post aimed to discredit the opponent was sponsored several times by the name of Manana Kaxidze.
;

Shaming for Solidarity

On July 1st, a newly-created Facebook page "Sarkrazmelebi" has shared a video collage. The first part of the video includes footage where the non-partisan MP Tariel Nakaidze talks about LGBTQ+ rights in Georgia. The footage is shortly followed by the video of the Pride March of Turkey, where the government used tear gas to demolish the demonstrators.
;
Facebook pages Zneoba.ge and წინაპართა ნაკვალევზე (On the Footsteps of Ancestors) made a response to the statement made by the State Silk Museum and blamed the state establishment for propagating the "sin of sodomy."
;
On July 1st, Irakli Jankarashvili, the author of Tvalsazrisi.ge has shared the picture of Civil Ombudsman Nino Lomjaria using the following description: “Image removed. "Civil debaucher calls the state to protect the anal holes.Image removed.”  The photo with a fabricated caption was shared by the groups: ბიძინა ივანიშვილის მეგობრები "ფეისბუქზე"  (Friends of Bidzina Ivanishvili on Facebook) and გასამართლდეს ნაციონალური მოძრაობა! (National Movement should be trialled!).

;
The author of Tvalsazrisi.ge has assessed the support of Pride as an attack of insider enemies and shared a photo collage. Jankarashvili has devoted a special post to the leader of European Georgia – Giga Bokeria.

;
A photo of Giorgi Gakharia with a pro-LGBTQ+ frame and insulting caption appeared on the Facebook page პოლიტიკური ნაკვალევი (Political Footprint)
;
Gia Gachechiladze found himself under criticism as well. He received two memes by the supporter of Levan Vasadze's "Unity, Essence, Hope" Beka Vardosanidze.
;
The head of Davit Gomelauri – the Minister of the Internal Affairs, has also been photoshopped on the body of a Kinto. The post was published on the personal page of the administrator of the anti-Vax groups Lasha Modebadze

;
The information regarding the violent statements and demonstrations of the hate groups was shared by the far-right Facebook groups linked with Guram Palavandishvili (ეროვნული იდეოლოგია - უალტერნატივოა, ZNEOBA.GE, ქართული იდეა - qartuliidea.ge) and some other religious Facebook gages ( †საქართველოს იმედი †, ტკბილ ხარ შენ უფალო).

 

Manipulative Spread of Information and Disinformative Messages

Information regarding the Pride Marches organized in other countries was actively shared on social media. For example, hate groups (Conservative Platform, Alt-Info) welcomed Pride's forceful dissolution in Turkey. Furthermore,  using the example of Pride held in Greece, far-right groups (No to gender and LGBT propaganda, Patriotic Page) were trying to spread hate against the LGBT community.

;
Identical information was being shared in the following Facebook groups: ჩვენ გვიყვარს საქართველო ❤️, ლევან ვასაძის მხარდამჭერები levan vasadze, ლევან ვასაძის და ეროვნული ფლანგის, მსოფლიო ქართველთა მხარდამჭერები🇬🇪❗❗❗,

 


During June, various Facebook pages and accounts (,, ერთსულოვნება" ☦ 🇬🇪 სამშობლოს სიყვარულში, გიორგი გახარიას მხარდამჭერთა ჯგუფი, 💗ემიგრანტებო💗სამშობლოში💗, ეროვნული ჯგუფი), ინდივიდულური პროფილები  as well as individual profiles were spreading disinformation regarding the Ukrainian police refusing to protect the LGBT community. These accounts claimed that the Georgian police had to share the same practice.

 

 


A fabricated quote of the director of Tbilisi Pride was also shared on social media, according to which Giorgi Tabagari threatens the pro-Russian stakeholders for going against the LGBTQ+ community by saying: “Our time will come, and I promise, I will make you miss the repressions of Stalin."
;
On July 2nd, a Facebook group called ნაციონალისტური საქართველო (Nationalistic Georgia) has published a video in which Jamie Vardy – a British footballer – broke the LGBT flag after scoring a goal. The video was accompanied by the following description: "Tag Guram Kashia and similar LGBT+ footballers!" In reality, Vardy simply expressed joy after scoring a goal, and his action had nothing to do with Homophobia."
;
It is noteworthy that the same Facebook page created an event named "Stop Gay Pride". The description of the video stresses that the organization of parade-week of perversion and immorality is unacceptable.

;


 By Ani Kistauri, Tamar Kintsurashvili and Keti Khutsishvili

მიმაგრებული ფაილები: