Sunday, November 22, 2015

Gay Georgian refugee finds safe haven in Richmond

In May 2013, a newly formed LGBT Rights Organization held the first public gay rights demonstration ever seen in the former soviet republic of Georgia. The group of less than a hundred was met by 40,000 anti-gay protestors whipped into a frenzy by leaders of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The few hundred police assigned to keep the peace were overwhelmed by the anti-gay mob which attacked the gay rights supporters. Dozens were beaten or injured. The Anti-gay rioters used clubs, stones, and whips made of stinging nettles to in their attack. In the fall-out from the protests, a young activist who helped to organize the demonstration in Tbilisi had to flee his homeland. He arrived recently in the U.S. as a refugee, and is starting a new life in Richmond California. Tom Herriman reports. (Photo: Police bus carrying pro-gay rights demonstrators to safety is attacked by anti-gay mob.)