Georgia's first LGBT Pride march has been postponed as a result of clashes in the streets of Tbilisi after protesters attempted to storm parliament over a controversial visit by a Russian delegation”.
“Considering the events that unfolded on Rustaveli Avenue and the tense political situation, the Tbilisi Pride team decided to postpone the march that was planned as part of Pride week for few days," Pride organizers said in a statement.
The event planners had intended to proceed with a historic March of Dignity through the capital Saturday, despite threats of violence by anti-gay groups.
Earlier this week, leaders of Georgia's gay community accused government officials of abandoning their duty to protect citizens in the days leading up to the Pride march.
"We had only one demand from the government: to ensure safety and protection for everyone who would be going out, and to have access to our constitutional right of freedom of assembly," Giorgi Tabagari, a prominent gay rights activist, told VOA's Georgian service.
The Southern Caucasus nation had been on edge in days leading up to the Pride celebrations, the first events of their kind since a gathering against homophobia in 2013 saw dozens of demonstrators attacked by Orthodox Christian priests and ultraconservatives armed with clubs and other weapons.
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