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Both under Czarist rule and the Soviet rule, male homosexuality was prohibited in Georgia.
In 1933, Article 121 was added to the Criminal Code, for the entire Soviet Union, and expressly prohibited male homosexuality, with up to five years of hard labor in prison.
The constitutional amendment caused a split within the ruling coalition itself, with members of the liberal-leaning Republican Party of Georgia campaigning against the initiative.
The opponents pointed out that besides substantive considerations, the proposed constitutional ban is a futile move since it will very likely fail to garner enough votes to pass, as was the case with a similar proposal in 2014.
The precise reason for the law is still in some dispute.
Moreover, recent street tensions in the country over LGBT rights have generated unprecedented media coverage and public discussion of this previously neglected topic.Despite this, the freedom of same-sex sexual activity was not officially enshrined in the law until 2000, when the Georgian Government put in place an amended criminal code to meet the standards set forth by the Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights.Georgia does not recognize same-sex unions, either in the form of marriage or civil unions.Georgia is one of only a few countries in the former Soviet space (others being the EU-member Baltic states, and Ukraine) that directly prohibits discrimination against all LGBT people in legislation, labor-related or otherwise.Since 2012, Georgian law has considered crimes committed on the grounds of one's sexual orientation or gender identity an aggravating factor in prosecution.