WCF regional Conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, and the Tbilisi Declaration (2014)

We’re publishing the complete text of the Declaration approved by the World Congress of Families regional Conference held in Tbilisi, capitat of Georgia, centered on the new Georgian law on “anti-discrimination”.

Speakers participating in the Conference were representing the pro-family groups from different world countries: Jack Hennick (USA), Fabrice Sorlan (France), Alexey Komov ( Russia ), Levan Vasadze (Georgia).

There was discussed a wide range of issues related to the protection of the natural family, marriage, and traditional family values. Particular attention was paid to the analysis of the legislative prohibition of discrimination on the ground of “sexual orientation”, recently approved by the Georgian Parliament.

The conference adopted the Tbilisi Declaration, which, along with the participants of the event, was endorsed by many leading pro-family organizations from different countries of the world. The support for the Declsaration was also expressed by Lorenzo Fontana, MEP from Italy.

 Declaration of the regional conference of the World Congress of Families
[The Tbilisi Declaration]

Tbilisi, Georgia, May 17th, 2014

Regarding Georgia’s adoption of Law on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination

We, the participants of the regional conference of the World Congress of Families gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia, as well as the representatives of the pro-family civil society organizations and groups from different countries of the world are declaring the following:

The natural family, based on the life-long marital union of a man and a woman, “is the bedrock of society, the strength of our nations, and the hope of humanity” [1]. The “family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State” (Art. 16(3) of UDHR).

Therefore the state, the society and the law should protect and not threaten the family, marriage and the traditional moral values related to them.

It has come to our attention that Georgia, following the demands of the European Union officials related to the Association Agreement between Georgia and the EU, and to the EU Visa Liberalization Action plan, has recently initiated and adopted the Law on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination.

Having familiarized ourselves with the law, it is our understanding that your traditional country with ancient and authentic culture, one of the oldest Christian societies in the world, has effectively agreed to join the list of states who choose to ban expression of freedom of its citizens opposing the immoral developments and propaganda of sexual behaviors, regarded as sinful and unacceptable in Christian tradition, and harmful for the family, for children and for the society as a whole. Such legal approaches are being destructive for the family and for the public morals instead of protecting them. Under pretext of the protection from discrimination they lead to serious discrimination of people respecting traditional moral and family values, especially Christians, and to the massive human rights violations. Those proven guilty under the law become subjected to Georgia’s criminal code under which the physical persons can be subjected to correctional labor for up to 1 year, or imprisonment of up to 2 years and legal organizations can be liquidated.

Even EU law itself, provided in the EU Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 which in itself is highly questionable from the point of views of the rule of law and of the adequacy of its legal foundations, is much more narrow that the new Georgian law. The actual EU law prohibits “discrimination” on the ground of “sexual orientation” only in employment and occupation, and not in all the areas as the new law of Georgia. It’s strange for us that Georgian lawmakers decided to go further by the way of this doubtful development, than the EU itself.

We know Georgia as one of the oldest and most tolerant nations in the world, where in its capital Tbilisi for centuries various congregations of Christian churches, a mosque and a synagogue have stood side-by-side on the same street and allowed their respective flocks to practice their religion in peace and security.  Historically your kings have reduced taxes for religious and ethnic minorities, while taxing to a greater extent own Christian majority.  Even during the Soviet period Georgia was regarded as one of the most ethnically diverse soviet republics with up to 40% of its population consisting of non-Georgians and non-Christians, living together in peace and prosperity till the breakup of Soviet Union.  It is known worldwide that the 26 century old Jewish settlements in Georgia are perhaps the only ones in the world without a single documented case of anti-Semitism.  We know that unlike painful European Reformation and religious wars, which have cost millions of lives in Europe, faith and knowledge have also co-existed peacefully in Georgia during centuries.

We believe that pseudo-values connected with promotion of “sexual diversity” and favoring different kinds of immoral and perverse sexual behaviors, are harmful for the society and have nothing to do with the real foundational values of humanity and with the genuine and universally recognized human rights.  They are contradicting the values and teachings of major great religions of our planet.  These pseudo-values are designed to destroy the institution of the family, moral and spiritual foundations of the society and to drive human beings into solitude and enslavement to vulgar materialism and lust.  Family statistics in Western Europe as well as unprecedented levels of debt for western population, alarming rise of consumption of anti-depressants, addictive medicaments as well as narcotics, rampant child violence and rising suicide rates are a vivid proof of that.  To our despair, Western Europe in particular and western culture in general, seem now to be on the path to self-destruction through family demise and moral degradation.

The law in question reflects these sad trends.  Instead of protecting minorities, which are already protected in Georgia by proven, centuries’ old traditions of your diverse society, it invites and promotes not only immoral, but also counterproductive, litigationist behavior and mentality.  Many western nations suffer dearly from such behavior and mentality and so will suffer Georgia.  Therefore the law presents an unnatural and an artificial imposition of pseudo-morality upon Georgian traditional society.  It will not be accepted by Georgians and will pose a tangible problem to the law enforcement.  We are informed, that despite a unanimous voting for it in the Parliament, the vast majority of Georgians are against it. The law is thus in essence undemocratic, despite the formal signs of democratic procedures around it. Dozens of the most respected intellectual, cultural and religious leaders of Georgia as well as many common people have already expressed their concern over those alarming trends by endorsing the famous open letter to the special advisor of the European Union on legal and constitutional issues in Georgia Mr. Thomas Hammarberg [2].

Based on the above we hereby strongly urge the Government and politicians of Georgia to repeal this law and to either cancel it altogether or to alter it in order to reflect the wishes and values of Georgian people in the truly democratic way.

We ask the organizers of the Tbilisi Regional Conference of the World Congress of Families to transmit this call to the Government, politicians and civil society of Georgia.

[1] Cf. World Family Declaration – http://www.worldfamilydeclaration.org/

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