News Brief
LGBTQ Crisis

Hate Fest in Tbilisi

May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia and the day when a tiny LGBT community in Tbilisi, Georgia marks anniversary of 2013 violent crackdown on its members. But this year, Tbilisi chose to host The World Congress of Families, the world’s largest pro-traditional family, anti-LGBT symposium.

Leaders of the American and Russian, European and African Christian-right converged in Tbilisi for a four-day summit called the World Congress of Families. The event’s program included titles like the global “Demographic Winter” and “Sexual Revolution and Cultural Marxism.”

Speaking in front of hundreds of people, Orthodox Priest from the United States, Father Josiah Trenhman condemned “sodomization” of his native California and read out a sura from the Koran that calls on gays to be killed. The audience applauded. When we later asked Father Josiah whether he thought this was hate speech, he told us he was only quoting from the Koran and that the question was for representatives of Islam and not him.

Throughout the four days homosexuality was referred to as a “dangerous movement worse than fascism,” and LGBT community members were described as “aggressive rainbow radicals”. Prominent Russian guests included the wife of Vladimir Yakunin, Putin’s former railway chief, and Alexey Komov, one of the main ideologues of Putin’s Russki Mir (Russian World)

George W Bush sent a warm letter greeting the participants although his spokesman was later quoted in the New York Times saying that “Our knowledge of the group is limited to their work to encourage adoption.”