2013-05-31 18:03:00

Dispersal of gay rally was "God's will" - priest

Tbilisi, May 31, Interfax - The Tbilisi City Court on Friday scheduled for July 15 the first hearing of the case involving priests Antimoz Bichinashvili and Irakly Basilaya, who are accused of disrupting a sexual minorities rally in Tbilisi on May 17.

"We are accused of disrupting this rally and subjecting its participants to violence, but it isn't so. We weren't the organizers. Everything happened spontaneously. It was probably God's will. If someone was the organizer, it was Jesus Christ," Father Antimoz told reporters.

The Tbilisi City Court told Interfax the priests are accused of "obstructing the rally and subjecting protesters to violence," a crime punishable by a fine or up to two years in prison.

Several dozen gays conducted a rally in Tbilisi on May 17. Members of the public and clergymen conducted a rally to protest the gay rally. The police could not hold the dividing cordon and the crowd tried to hurt the gay activists, but the special task force was able to take them to a safe place.

The incident drew criticism from Europe and the U.S.