2016-05-11 13:04:00

Georgian president refrains from discussing same-sex "marriages", believes there are more important things to discuss

Tbilisi, May 11, Interfax - Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili believes the subject of same-sex "marriages", which has recently been actively discussed in Georgia, is irrelevant.

"Why do you think that same-sex marriages are a European tradition?" Margvelashvili said in reply to a question concerning European traditions and same-sex "marriages" during a lecture at Public School No. 1 in Tbilisi.

Same-sex "marriages" are acceptable in some European countries and unacceptable in others, and it is wrong to presume that Georgian identity is focused on preventing same-sex relations at any cost, he said.

Margvelashvili insisted that the subject of same-sex "marriages" is far-fetched and irrelevant.

"It's also different in Europe and in the United States. I am not saying whether this is acceptable or unacceptable, but I am saying that I believe this is a far-fetched subject," he said.

The Georgian Civil Code defines a marriage as a union between a man and a woman, he said.

Margvelashvili suggested that 99.9% of Georgians believe same-sex "marriages" are unacceptable, this is stipulated by Georgian laws, and there is a consensus on the matter at the parliament.

"Why are we raising a storm in a teacup? The answer is simple: so as not to talk about jobs, education, and culture. Instead of this, some see this as a very good way to talk about a presumably European tradition with you," he said.

It was reported earlier that the Georgian Central Elections Commission on April 23 updated the wording of a question proposed by a group of activists on April 13 to hold a referendum on defining the concept of a marriage in the constitution. The question has been worded as follows: "Do you agree that the Georgian constitution should be amended to stipulate that a marriage is a union of a man and a woman with the intent of creating a family?"

As for the question's registration, the law allots one month for the procedure; hence, the Central Elections Commission is supposed either to register the question or reasonably deny its registration not later than May 13.

The existing version of the Georgian constitution says that "A marriage is based on legal equality and good will of spouses."