On 8 July this year, representatives of the LGBT community wanted to hold a festival on Lake Lisi in Tbilisi, Georgia. As many as 30,000 people came out – both priests and laypersons – and we stood against it, they could not hold the festival and the police took them away. They failed in their intention to hold that festival – 30,000 people stood up against it.
We know from the Gospel that the sin associated with the LGBT way of life is very contrary to God. And we know that entire cities in Israel, where that sin was widespread, were punished as a consequence of that sin. In their place today is the Dead Sea, that is, those cities no longer exist. From this came the teaching that if a person does not repent and lives in that mortal sin, we all know that this sin is against God, punishment will necessarily occur if he does not repent. For example, the Church teaches us that we should love those who repent. And if a person comes up to me and says that he has such and such a problem, that he needs help, we will certainly help him and we are obliged to show them Christian love. But if a person or a whole group of people who live in that sin want to go out on the street and propagate that others can join their LGBT way of life and change their gender if they wish to do so, for example, if they are born of God as men to become women or vice versa. If a person does not repent – it is a great sin, because God created them the way they are.
We all know that God created man in His image, so we are very similar to God. But if a person perverts it in his life and because of that perversion he does not even repent or even preach that it is good, of course we, the clerics of the Church, have a direct obligation to oppose it with prayer. In Georgia, when representatives of the LGBT community take to the streets for parades and call for other people to join them – of course we go out, read akathists, tell them that this should not be done, and by standing in the streets we stand against that sin. By no means, as they say, do we resort to hitting anyone on the face, but simply by praying, we priests, of course, go out and read akathists and tell them that this must not be done, simply in all peaceful ways, with our prayers, our standing, we oppose it.
You know that there are many non-governmental organizations that are financed from the West or from the USA and we do not know where these finances come from. Their finances come especially from Europe and the West. They invest a lot of money and put a lot of pressure on our government and on our non-governmental organizations, but, fortunately, our current government and our Church, the Georgian Orthodox Church, are united in the view that we are obliged to oppose it peacefully. However, the legislation needs to be strengthened so that LGBT propaganda is prohibited by law.