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Parliament will legally define marriage

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, August 26
Georgia’s Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, says it is more likely that after the October 8 parliamentary elections, Parliament will legally define marriage as the unity of man and a woman in the Georgian constitution.

The statement came after President Giorgi Margvelashvili refused to hold a referendum to define marriage in the Georgian constitution.

The President stressed the issue should be solved by Parliament and not by the President as is written in the country’s legislation.

Margvelashvili also said that holding a referendum when 20 percent of the country was occupied by Russia could be a reason for the occupiers to reiterate that Georgia’s regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) are “independent republics.”

"We might dispute the argument that a referendum cannot be held due to violation of the territorial integrity. In our opinion, this is not so, though; I repeat that we are arguing only about arguments,” the PM said.

“We, of course, fully share the desire of the initiators of the referendum that the phrase ‘civil marriage is a voluntary union of a man and a woman in order to create a family’ be recorded in the Constitution.” the PM added.

The PM stressed the current ruling political force was one of the major supporters of this constitutional amendment.

“As soon as the elections are over, we will implement constitutional amendments and this will be reflected in the Constitution," said the PM.

An initiative group composed mainly of non-parliamentary and non-Government people managed to collect about 200,000 signatures to demand the change in the constitution.

Many in the opposition believe supporting the idea by the current Government was related to the ruling party's pre-election campaigning.

The opposition and the civil sector representatives say marriage is already defined by Georgian legislation and there is no need for additional amendments to the constitution.