Hundreds of opponents of gay rights on Saturday swarmed the site of an LGBT festival in the capital of the country of Georgia, vandalizing the stage, setting fires and looting the event’s bar.
Deputy Georgian Interior Minister Aleksandre Darakhvelidze said participants in the Tbilisi Pride Fest were safely evacuated from the scene. Festival organizers called on people not to come to the lakeside park where the event was to be held.
Georgian news media estimated about 5,000 people marched toward the site. Many of them waved Georgian flags and carried religious icons.
Animosity toward sexual minorities is strong in Georgia, which is predominantly Orthodox Christian, and some previous LGBT events have met violent disruptions.
Darakhvelidze said police tried to obstruct the protesters but could not hold all of them back.
But the event organizers criticized police as ineffectual, saying in a statement: “The police did not block the access road to the festival site in order to prevent an aggressive group. The police did not use proportional force against the attackers.”
Source: AP News