Georgians Marching for Gay Rights Clash With Religious Activists

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Georgians rallying in support of gay rights clashed with religious activists, disrupting a march through the streets of the Black Sea nation’s capital, Tbilisi.

As many as 50 people turned out, some with posters and painted faces, Guram Demetrashvili, a participant, told reporters at the scene today. Dozens of activists led by Father David Isakadze, an Orthodox Christian priest, pushed and kicked them and broke their placards as they blocked their path, according to Demetrashvili.

No-one was injured during the clash, Zurab Gvenetadze, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said by phone. Some people were detained for a short time before being released, he added.

The Gender Equality and Human Rights movement, which organized the rally, was founded in 2010 to research hate crimes and comments against minorities, according to its Facebook Inc. page. Christianity has been a state religion in parts of Georgia since the fourth century and is the dominant religion in the nation of 4.4 million people.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helena Bedwell in Tbilisi at