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Georgia’s ruling party is planning a new bill that would strip same-sex couples of their rights and target so-called “LGBT propaganda,” a move that marks another break from the former Soviet republic’s aspirations to join the European Union and a pivot toward its former master, Politico reported.

On Tuesday, Shalva Papuashvili – speaker of Georgia’s parliament and a leader of the governing Georgian Dream party – unveiled a new legislative package that would ban same-sex marriages from being registered and only allow adoption to “heterosexuals.”

The proposed legislation will also criminalize changing gender and remove any references to LGBTQ+ people from public spaces. Broadcasters, advertisers and movie theaters must also censor content that features same-sex relationships.

The proposal mirrors similar measures in neighboring Russia that banned “propaganda” against traditional values and outlawed “the international LGBTQ+ public movement.”

The bills come days after Papuashvili approved a contentious law that would label non-governmental organizations receiving more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad as “foreign agents.”

That bill sparked weeks of mass protests against the ruling party and international criticism alleging that the law undermines Georgia’s efforts to join the EU. Critics added the legislation is very similar to Russian laws targeting non-profits, which have been used to stifle dissent, Euronews noted.

But despite public outrage, Papuashvili signed that bill into law Monday after the parliament – dominated by the Georgian Dream party – repealed a veto by President Salome Zourabichvili.

Georgian Dream has defended the bill as necessary to defend the country from foreign actors allegedly seeking to destabilize it. They have also accused Georgia’s Western partners of using NGOs to spread “LGBT propaganda,” stage a coup and drag the country into conflict with Russia.

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