The Georgian Orthodox Church is planning on holding a mass wedding in protest of the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17. The church will marry 400 straight couples on what it calls “Family Purity Day”.
This isn’t the first time the church has protested the day, in 2012 priests violently disrupted a small gay rights demonstration in Tbilisi – injuring several demonstrators.
The following year priests attacked a similar demonstration, carrying signs that read: “Stop promoting homosexual propaganda in Georgia” and “We don’t need Sodom and Gomorrah.”
While LGBT+ people are protected in the country by anti-discrimination laws they still face daily harassment and violence. A 2011 poll found that 91.5 percent of Georgians think homosexuality is “completely unacceptable” and most said they would rather work with an alcoholic than a gay person.