Brian Brown, the globe-trotting anti-LGBTQ activist, is promoting a video of himself addressing a crowd in Tbilisi, the capital of the country of Georgia, on July 8. In the video, Brown is addressing a crowd as “men of faith,” while businessman and anti-gay activist Levan Vasadze translates for him. The link was included in an email sent on Thursday to supporters of the International Organization for the Family, the parent organization of the World Congress of Families.
Brown appears to be speaking to a gathering called to protest an LGBTQ pride event. Brown told the crowd that he had come to Georgia to spend quiet time with his family and his friend Vasadze, “but it seems that our Lord had different plans. I’ve landed in the middle of this, a beautiful rising of the people of Georgia to stand for faith and family.”
As we reported last month, Vasadze and Orthodox Church officials mobilized to stop a pride celebration from taking place in June. In an email and blog post published by the anti-Semitic Russia Insider in June, Brown praised efforts to “stop the LGBT movement’s attempt to undermine family and faith in the Republic of Georgia.” Vasadze has been a vocal critic of a nondiscrimination law that was passed to align with European Union human rights standards.
A small group of LGBT+ activists held a delayed pride gathering on July 8, which itself had to be moved at the last minute in response to far-right groups that “threatened to form vigilante units to stop it,” according to Reuters.
In the video he shared, Brown is seen complaining, “Our opponents talk about tolerance, but where is the tolerance when they try and interrupt us, when they try and shout us down, when they try to silence us?” Brown repeatedly addresses his remarks to “men of faith”:
Men of faith, there are many of us around the world, of different countries, different backgrounds, different faiths. We know the lies. We know that when men and women stand for the family, when men and women stand for the natural family—man, woman, child—that is a great good.
There were some that tried to scare me and talk me out of coming up here and speaking, tried to intimidate me and say it was dangerous, that we can’t stand together. But men of faith, if we will not stand when our families are attacked, if we will not stand when our culture is undermined, if we will not stand when our country is dismantled, when will we stand?
So I stand with you today, cradled in the arm of our protector, Our Lady. I know there’s someone much more powerful than any of us watching over us. God bless you all for never surrendering.
God bless your patriarch for being a leader of vision and faith.
Now I’ve going to make Levan translate something he doesn’t want to translate. God bless Levan Vasadze for being a great leader.
God bless you all, men of virtue and faith, and most of all, God bless Georgia.
Georgia sits between Russia and Turkey, where Eastern Europe meets Asia. The World Congress of Families held its annual global summit in Tbilisi in 2016, which Vasadze hosted. The event was timed to coincide with the anniversary of a violent mob attack, led by Orthodox priests, on people attempting to hold a Pride celebration in 2013.
WCF also held a regional gathering in Tbilisi in 2014 that produced a manifesto that declared in part, “We believe that pseudo-values connected with promotion of ‘sexual diversity’ and favoring different kinds of immoral and perverse sexual behaviors, are harmful for the society and have nothing to do with the real foundational values of humanity and with the genuine and universally recognized human rights.”
That explains why Brian Brown is so excited about, and why advocates for the rights of LGBTQ people so alarmed about, Mike Pompeo’s new commission to re-examine U.S. human rights policy in the context of “natural law.”
Brown’s email said he also met this week with Moldovan President Igor Dodon, who hosted the 2018 World Congress of Families global summit.