On May 4, 2023, the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili made a speech
at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that was met with a positive response from the openly pro-Russian far-right forces operating in Georgia. On the other hand, the European Socialists, the partner party of the "Georgian Dream" in Europe, condemned
Gharibashvili's participation in the conference and said that they are discussing the possible status suspension of the "Georgian Dream".
The main motto of the CPAC conference is “United We Stand.” The list of conference speakers did not include a single incumbent political leader from an EU member or candidate country, except for Hungary's far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
. Irakli Gharibashvili's participation in the conference got a positive reaction from the far-right conservative "Fundamental Rights Center" of Budapest in a post
published on April 26: "Gender propaganda is not favorable to Georgia either, although according to Gharibashvili, activists, and politicians are obliged to respect the will of the majority, which rejects the pressure from LGBTQ propaganda."
In his speech
, Irakli Gharibashvili noted that "certain forces that oppose freedom and truth are trying to achieve their goals by destroying traditional family values and turning to false freedom - for example, spreading LGBT propaganda, trying to legalize sex change for minors bypassing their parents.
" The rhetoric, which appeals to religious and national sentiments, is in full alignment with the main messages of the openly pro-Russian far-right forces operating in Georgia.
During the Prime Minister's visit to Budapest, homophobic rhetoric was noticeably more active on openly far-right media platform Alt-Info
, as well as on the pro-government media outlets, Imedi
Back in April, the Prime Minister's planned visit to Budapest got positive reactions from violent and openly pro-Russian far-right groups in Georgia. Guram Palavandishvili, chairman of the far-right group "Society for the Protection of Children's Rights" assessed the Prime Minister's visit to Hungary as an important event in an "Alt-Info" program ”Commentary of the Day”
on April 30, and noted: "As the world is being divided into pro-sodomist and anti-sodomist forces, Gharibashvili's visit to Hungary is very important. I hope he finds the strength to speak the truth and condemn the anti-discrimination law.
One of the leaders of the "Conservative Movement/Alt-Info," Irakli Martinenko, also assesses the Prime Minister's visit positively. However, in the April 28 episode of the "Alt-Analytics
" program, Martinenko said that this visit holds no significant importance for the country if the foreign [European] course is not revised.
While the Prime Minister is doing a speech on the conservative platform, the leaders of the radical political force "Conservative Movement/Alt-Info" (Giorgi Kardava, Zurab Makharadze, Irakli Morgoshia, Shota Martinenko, Konstantine Morgoshia) prepared a legislative initiative
, which propositions the prohibition of "sexual orientation propaganda" in the planned amendment to the "Assemblies and Manifestations" law. Despite the claims of the "Georgian Dream" leaders
that they will not support the said draft law, as it aims to limit the freedom of expression, the homophobic campaign
on official satellite media platforms indicates the opposite.
Additionally, the leader of the "Conservative Movement" party, Konstantine Morgoshia
published a Facebook post on May 2, where he claimed having "legitimate information" about the support from the "Georgian Dream": "Georgian Dream" through its partner parties will adopt all the laws that we have been asking and fighting to have accepted for years!!! Including the law against gay propaganda!!! This news makes me very happy, better late than never!!! I have always said and I will repeat now, July 5 was the greatest victory of the Georgian people and the beginning of the end of liberalism in Georgia!!!"
The pro-government propaganda channels and the far-right forces campaigning with actively homophobic content raises suspicions that the "Georgian Dream" and the far-right forces may be jointly lobbying for a legislative initiative, which will be openly discriminatory and become a significant obstacle for Georgia on the way to obtaining the EU candidate status.