Dossier: Situation of LGBTI people in South Caucasus

Dossier: Situation of LGBTI people in South Caucasus

Counter-demonstrators aigainst the LGBTI demonstration on May 17, 2013, Tbilisi, Georgia.. Photo: Henning von Bargen. Creative Commons License LogoThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.

Wars, state failure, social and economic problems – for more than one decade after the fall of the Soviet Union, the three states of the South Caucasus, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan were faced with existential challenges. With the consolidation of state structures, the at least transitional freezing of territorial conflicts, and the strengthening of ties with Western Europe, attention to the rights of sexual minorities also increased. At the beginning of the 2000s, in the course of becoming part of the Council of Europe, all three countries began the process of decriminalizing homosexuality. But all three former Soviet republics remain far from having eliminated discrimination. Only in Georgia do two paragraphs in a law exist that forbid discrimination. At this point, in the countries of the region, it is impossible to conceive of recognition of LGBTI partnerships or even their equal treatment with heterosexual couples.


The situation of the LGBTI community in the South Caucasus

2012 was a special year in terms of publicity of LGBTI community and LGBTI movement in all three South Caucasian countries. Several important steps have been made towards raising acute issues about sexual identity, differences/diversity and social constructs in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. By Nino Lejava

LGBTI Rights in the South Caucasus

Those who advocate for the rights of sexual minorities in all three countries are confronted with staunchly conservative stereotypes and deep-seated resentment towards all those who challenge or could be seen to break up the traditional social and family structures. The weakly developed understanding of democratic values and minority rights is not just inherited from the Soviet Union. By Silvia Stöber


Georgia: Between Modernity and the Middle Ages

In the history of the fight for LBGTI rights in the South Caucasus, 17 May 2012 is a milestone. On this internationally recognized day, a group of activists took to the streets in the center of the capital Tbilisi for the first time to demonstrate for the rights of sexual minorities. By Silvia Stöber


Armenia: A Closed Society

The topic of sexual orientation is still a taboo in the Armenian society. Anyone who differs from the traditional beliefs must deal with social ostracism and violence. The gay singer Armine Oganezova, also known as Tsomak, fled from Armenia this summer, because she had to be afraid for her life. By Silvia Stöber


Between Appearance and Reality in Baku: LGBTI Rights in Azerbaijan

In May 2012, when the Euro Vision Song Contest took place in Baku, Azerbaijan's capital presented itself as open and liberal. But there is also a second reality: The Azerbaijani society is deeply conservative. In many families it is still a shame when sons or daughters come out as homosexual. Some of them are faced with violence from their own families. By Silvia Stöber


Dossier: Focus on Hungary


Our dossier on Hungary is as a forum for critical voices since the right-wing government came to power in April 2010. The contributions reflect the socio-political changes as well as long-term developments.