“A Country Where Everyone Feels Free?” The Georgian Orthodox Church, Political Homophobia and Europeanization of LGBTIQ Rights in Georgia

Research output: Articles / NotesScientific Articlepeer-review

Abstract

As a case study for LGBTIQ rights promotion, Georgia presents a compelling case. On the one hand, this is a country with strong aspirations for EU membership. On the other hand, the Georgian Orthodox Church (GOC), with its critical conservative attitude to the requirements posed by the EU, has remained the most trusted institution in the country and enjoyed strong popular support for decades. Finally, Russia, a self-proclaimed defender of “traditional family values,” is largely present in the country’s politics through the shared past and close ties between the political elites and Russian and Georgian Orthodox Churches. The present article examines how the Georgian Orthodox Church resists LGBTIQ equality in a complex political and geopolitical context. It argues that during the last few years, the GOC changed tactics to adapt to the new reality and maintain its central role in Georgian society. Trying to combine the conservative and the Europeanization messages, the GOC accuses advocates of gender and sexual equality of affecting Georgia’s path toward EU membership by promoting the values for which the country is unprepared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2065-2083
Number of pages19
JournalSexuality and Culture
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • European integration
  • Political homophobia
  • Religious nationalism
  • Traditional family values

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