TBILISI: Gay Book Controversy Roils Nation Of Georgia

The nation of Georgia has seen several demonstrations and assaults over the publication of a book by a 20 year-old author which mocks the Orthodox Church and depicts several gay sexual encounters. Via the Moscow Times:

The catalyst for the dispute was a provocative new book satirizing the church, the most respected institution in Georgia. Its title is an irreverent play on the Georgian phrase for the Last Supper, which can also be interpreted as “Holy Crap.” Orthodox activists held a demonstration calling for a ban on the book. Liberals responded with their own small protest for freedom of expression. But as soon as they gathered, they were assaulted by pious toughs who accused them of being anti-Christian traitors and promoters of homosexuality. According to an eyewitness, one of the assailants shouted: “Get out of this country! You are not Georgians! We will not forgive you because you’re corrupting the nation!” Among those who came out to support the traditionalists was Zviad Dzidziguri of the opposition Conservative Party, who portrays himself as a champion of democracy and is currently campaigning for the post of mayor of Tbilisi in elections on May 30. He suggested that the “sacrilegious” book should be suppressed and denounced together with “satanic” Halloween celebrations and gay pride parades.

VIDEO: A planned debate about the book at a Tbilisi television station erupted into assaults and arrests.