MDF Can't see images?
Report # 8 (63), 1-28 February, 2016

The following report includes results of monitoring of the Georgian media for 1-28 February 2016 and activities conducted as a result of this monitoring

The main observations:

  • Homophobia especially increased in the Georgian media in February, which included homophobic statements by public servants and politicians. There were two main reasons for this. One was the constitutional suit by Mr Giorgi Tatishvili, who demanded for the article of the Civil Code that specified that “marriage is a voluntary union between a woman and a man with the purpose of creating family” to be recognized to be unconstitutional. (notably, Georgian NGOs defending LGBT rights distanced themselves from the author of this suit); The second  reason was introduction of the ‘Me and Society’ class in schools and homophobic speculation based on this;  
  • Homophobic statements of Deputy Minister of Diaspora Issues Sandro Bregadze were also made in February; later he resigned, as he explained – because of his position regarding same-sex marriage (see examples);
  • During the discussion of the ‘Me and Society’ class Minister of Education and Science of Georgia Tamar Sanikidze also made a homophobic statement;
  • Hate speech and insults were again directed mainly against NGOs, United National Movement (UNM) and Republican Party; aggression against NGOs especially increased during this period;
  • Some media outlets spread information during this period about possible acceptance of a large number of refugees by Georgia; in connection to this trend, xenophobia increased, especially against Arabs and some other ethnic croups;
  • The main trend of anti-Western rhetoric again were discussion of the “expansion of homosexuality” threat as a result of integration with Europe;

Statements by the ‘No to Phobia!’ coalition

On 3 February civil platform ‘No to Phobia!’ made a statement regarding the draft law on introduction of punishment for insulting religious feelings. On 11 February the member organizations of the platform made a statement regarding the homophobic comment by the Minister of Education.

Complaint to the self-regulatory agency

The NGOs – MDF, Sapari, Identoba, TDI and GDI filed a complaint to the self-regulatory agency of Palitra News on 9 March 2016, regarding the program ‘With Palavandishvili – Me and Society class’(anchor – Guram Palavandishvili), aired by Palitra News at 20:00, 28 February.

Examples from the February media monitoring results:

Hate speech/political parties, 3 February

Vazha Otarashvili, Patriots Alliance: „If we had a normal country, Lasha Bughadze should be put on a donkey backwards and people should spit in his face. The government a whole bunch of sell-out writers and poets. No one should dare to legalize same-sex marriage, or we shall kick all the MPs to the street while beating them, the people will take over the power themselves and the billionaire oligarch will be left aside.“ 

Hate speech /media, 10 February

David Mkheidze - author: „Today, under the name of NGOs, a thousand of Tea Tutberidzes are fighting against all things Orthodox and national.

Asaval-Dasavali, 1-7 February

Jaba Khubua, journalist:   „...Or this country will be overrun by the anti-Georgian liberast-sectants, who will legalize same-sex marriage, mutilate the Georgian Orthodox Church and create the “new breed” of Georgians – without nationality, morals and God!“

Asaval-Dasavali, 22-28 February

Giorgi Gigauri, journalist: „The Republicans are associated with the swamp of Soros in Georgia, the liberast filth, gay parades and same-sex marriage!“

Xenophobia/ society, 10 February

Elizbar Javelidze: „I am ashamed that we are talking about this while the lands are sold, Georgians work as slaves for the foreigners, they are hired on their own land and work for the colored people. Georgian lands are bought by the Jews, Armenians, Arabs, Azeris. New villages are built with no Georgians there.“

Xenophobia / media

Asaval-Dasavali, 22-28 February

Giorgi Gigauri, journalist: „The Georgian government has acknowledged the plan to settle Arab refugees! I am sorry, but the wild Arab refugees for whom women are foreign, for whom all women without hijab are whores. What they do in Europe has been clearly seen on the New Year night in Cologne, where they raped about a hundred women!...“

Turkophobia/ political parties

Obiektivi, 19 February

David Tarkhan-Mouravi, Patriots Alliance: „Turkey is an occupier country, for 96 years it has been occupying 33% of our territory... Today Turks bomb the towns on their territory where the Kurds live, you know they do. Do you have any doubt that if they need they will also bomb the villages and towns in Turkey where Georgians live?“

Religious discrimination/ media, 10 February

David Mkheidze - author: " ...Despite opposition from the Patriarch, they have supported the dangerous (as the Patriarch called it) law about equalizing the rights of the Georgian Church not only with traditional religions, but even with satanistic sects!“

Homophobia / politicians, 17 February

Sandro Bregadze, Deputy Minister of Diaspora Issues, the leader of Erovnulebi movement: „ …Prostitutes existed, exist and will exist in this country. We criticize them, but it is impossible to eradicate this, though supporting this is unimaginable. Sexual minorities existed in the generation of our fathers, and even earlier too. This is not a surprise. Let them live, exist, but let no one demand to legalize this.“

Netgazeti, 19 February; Asaval-Dasavali, 22-28 February 

Sandro Bregadze, former Deputy Minister of Diaspora Issues:  “I have resigned! They did everything for me to resign, because they categorically demanded that I deny my principles. Yes, same-sex marriage will never be legalized, nor will anyone be able to insult the Church and the Patriarch, and we shall have a national state.” 

GDS, 20:30, 10 February

Tamar Sanikidze, Minister of Education: „If there was such intensive work going on, is the Patriarchy, Ministry of Education, went through it word by word and improved the standard, then why did not they discover such issues as, let the public forgive me, sodomy, safe sex, identity?... No version contains anything like this...“ 

Netgazeti, 2 February 2016

Tamaz Mechiauri, Georgian Dream: “ I don’t get it, if insulting LGBT is punishable, why does the Patriarch have less rights? Should we protect only LGBTs in Georgia? Should we adapt the country and legislation to them?“ 

Asaval-Dasavali, 8-14 February

Soso Jachvliani, Georgian Dream: „I know one thing for sure – the status of MP is temporary, the life goes on and my pedigree must live on in this country! Georgian Dream for me means that sanctity of family is protected and same-sex marriage does not get legalized in Georgia!“ 


Asaval-Dasavali, 1-7 February

Irma Inashvili, Patriots Alliance: „I state this openly: this filth – same-sex marriage – will not be legalized in Georgia!„

Public Broadcaster, Moambe, 16 February

Dimitri Lortkipanidze, United Democratic Mocement: This (‘Me and Society’ class) is propaganda of sodomy, which is conducted both secretly and openly.

Homophobia /society

Kavkasia, Barieri, 16 February

Guram Palavandishvili, philologist: „ ...They are forcing on us discriminatory law, they are telling us that if we want visa liberalization, we must adopt a dirty sodomic law... On the basis of this law… they go out each 17 May and try to stage parade for the LGBT community, and on its basis TV has become full of immorality...“

Homophobia / media

Saqinform, 9 February

Headline: „Do not turn Georgia into the country of Sodom and Gomorra!“

Asaval-Dasavali, 15-21 February

Mariam Kobulia, Young Journalists Assosiation, Your Media Team news agency: „It is unacceptable for what the Georgian people call immorality to be proclaimed as a norm!... If you legalize same-sex marriage, thousands of students will go to the streets! We shall fight to death, but nobody will be able to pass this law, even if Europe spends millions!“

Homophobia/clerics, 10 February

Father David (Isakadze): „Does civilization mean sodomy and lesbianism? We do not need such civilized people! Let them go to wherever they are commanded from. Sodomy is considered the greatest sin. This is unacceptable according to the divine laws!..“

Anti-Western sentiments/ politicians

Asaval-Dasavali, 1-7 February

Gia Burjanadze, United Democratic Movement: „Can you remind me, who in the parliamentary ruling majority is against this?! (adoption of anti-discrimination law) Nobody! And you know why?! Because that is what Uncle Sam has ordered! 3-million Georgia cannot dare anything, when 600-million Europe has swallowed so many things!...“

Asaval-Dasavali, 22-28 February

Jondi Baghaturia, United Democratic Movement:  „America is using our territory for its military, political and economic interests, and it is doing so against the interests of Russia!... NATO is a guarantee of attack from Russia, not an opportunity for our defense!... Yes, we are a toy in the hands of NATO and the Americans!..“

Asaval-Dasavali, 1-7 February

Valery Khaburdzania, former Minister of Security: „If we listen to Bokerias and Saakashvilis, we must become one of American states and reject even Georgian alphabet. Let them even say that legalization of same-sex marriage and rule of the country by this ideology is the only chance for economic success.“

Anti-Western/ society

Chronika, 13 February

Levan Vasadze : „Their (People’s Party) chairman was Luca Volante, he is my friend and he writes that situation in Europe today looks like the last days of the Roman Empire. The present campaign against the family and demographic situation will lead Europe to the disaster. In Italy the state has developed education strategy which means strengthening gender identity and LGBT in schools, while religious people are categorized as homophobes. Don’t you recognize anything here?“

Asaval-Dasavali, 22-28 February

Shota Apkhaidze, Caucasian Center for Islamic Studies: „Settlement of refugees here was decided at the Munich summit several days ago... In fact, nobody asks Georgian government anything, American and European leaders give Georgia tasks, loike their servant, to accept 235 thousand refugees from Middle East, mostly from Syria and Iraq!“

Discrimination of disabled persons /politicians

Public Broadcaster, Moambe, 3 February

Gogi Topadze, Georgian Dream: You have compared the Georgian people tp those with the Down’s Syndrome… It is very unfortunate if that is what you think about the Georgian people, perhaps you should not have dared to be the President of Georgia“.

Netgazeti, 10 February

Irma Nadirashvili, UNM: „ David Narmania is personally responsible for this fact. They have turned the whole country into the servants of a rich schizophreniac“., 10 February

Gogi Topadze, Georgian Dream MP: „ ... So, conclusion is very bad for him – Giorgi Margvelashvili is the President of Georgians, or, according to him, of retarded people. So, if the retarded people have chosen you as their leader, this means that they have seen the most retarded one in you… Is not Margvelashvili ashamed of being the President of retarded people?!“

Discrimination of disabled persons/ society, 10 February

Elizbar Javelidze, academician: „Who and why asks Gogi Tobadze to apologize? They are truly retarded and those with Down’s Syndrome. Yes, these are insulting words and I insult them.“

Gender discrimination/stereotypes/ media, 17 February 

Bakur Svanidze, journalist: „ ...Many women, due to certain psychological differences between sexes, have no wish to work at responsible positions… And if it is natural that only in exceptional cases are women superior to men in either physical force or mental criteria, then would should we do?“   

Asaval-Dasavali, 1-7 February

Dito Chubinidze, journalist: Alasania gave such food to Georgian soldiers that half of the army had diarrhea; then they put a woman at the head of the army; now it seems they are seducing soldiers with another woman (Laura Ghachava) .

Kviris Chronika, 1-7 February,

Nino Samkharadze (journalist): „The leader of rapid response battalion Mrs Tinatin quickly responded to Kantaria with her convincing tone and her earrings: they should think a little more in the party where such statements had been made. (p. 6)....

Gender discrimination/stereotypes /society

Alia, 26 February - 1 March

Levan Jibghashvili,  actor: „Woman should look after the family. If my wife comes home later than me, then why do I need a wife, I will have none“.


Gender discrimination/stereotypes /clerics

Asaval-Dasavali, 8-14 February

Kristofore Tsamaladze, metropolitan:  „So, when woman enters the Church and we have female leaders in the Church, then apocalypses comes. Today there are many “bishop” women! Europe has become godless and center of Christianity gradually moves towards Africa!..“


Newsletter was developed by Media Development Foundation (MDF) within the frameworks of the Promoting Integration, Tolerance and Awareness Program in Georgia, supported by USAID and implemented by UNAG.

Opinions and ideas provided in this newsletter are those of the Media Development Foundation (MDF) and do not represent the official position of the U.S. Agency for International Development and the UN Association of Georgia.

Media Development Foundation

Facebook Twitter Youtube

You received this email because you signed up on our website or made purchase from us.