At a meeting with diplomatic corps accredited on 24 May, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili discussed the events of 17 May, when anti-gay demonstrators, led by Georgian Orthodox Church clergy raided gay rights rally in Tbilisi. PM told the diplomats that the government and the police were not able to "ideally" defend the rights of sexual minorities. According to Ivanishvili, the new government's intention was to ensure 17 May rally to be "maximally peaceful", and to defend the rights of sexual minorities.
"Unfortunately, the police and the new government were not able to do so in an ideal manner. 17 May events were disgrace for our society. However, in given situation I would assess police actions as adequate. Law enforcers tried to do their best," Ivanishvili said.
The Prime Minister also commented on a rally "No to Theocracy" planned to be held in Tbilisi on 24 May, saying that the Interior Ministry will guarantee security of the participants of the demonstration. "What does it mean 'no to theocracy?' However, the Interior Minister told me about it. He is taking security measures and I think everything will end peacefully this time,"he said.
Two opposite rallies are planned to take place at Dedaena monument in Tbilisi on 24 May. Participants of the rally with the slogan "No to Theocracy" will demand the authorities held accountable the persons involved in 17 May violence, including Orthodox clerics. The counter-rally participants, meanwhile, will demand "banning LGBT propaganda."