I don’t intend for my blog to become political. Not that politics isn’t important, it is just I have friends of many different persuasions and politics along with sex, religion, salary, sexual orientation and death is taboo, as I frequently tell my students. Even the weather is straying into taboo waters if the crazies of UKIP are to be believed (apparently, flooding is caused by tolerance of gays, who would have known?).
What spurred this post was an incident I observed on the metro on Sunday.
A man with a beard observes an advert about surrogacy. In Gerogia women can be paid several thousand lari if they agree to be surrogate mothers. In neighboring Russia liberal legislation makes Russia attractive for “reproductive tourists” looking for techniques not available in their countries. However, in his address on 6th January, the Georgian Patriarch, Ilia II, (head of the Georgian Orthodox Church) spoke out against surrogacy and also IVF treatments, causing much concern in Georgia with those for and against the issue. “How can a family, where a child born by a surrogate mother is raised, be happy? This little (child) is doomed to be deprived of love and is doomed to loneliness from the very beginning,” the Patriarch stated.
The bearded man then rips the advertisement, the carriage is full people watch but no one reacts, positively or negatively.
On May 17th 2013 an anti-homophobic rally was held in Tbilisi. The gay rights activists holding the rally were met by thousands of protestors led by a couple of priests opposing homosexuality, who were allowed to break through a police cordon and violently pursued them, beating and throwing stones at them.
The following weekend a group of liberal minded Georgians attended an anti-theocracy rally, worried Georgia might go in the direction of Iran or the talibanized Afghanistan.
The offensive poster offering women up to $13 200 if they want to be surrogate mothers, a tempting sum for many Georgians.