Last holdout in Europe, N. Cyprus drops anti-gay law

The island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean Sea is divided between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the southern Republic of Cyprus.
The island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean Sea is divided between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the southern Republic of Cyprus.

If the president of Northern Cyprus grants his expected approval, the breakaway northern region of Cyprus will soon lose its disgraceful status as the only area of Europe where homosexual activity is a crime.

The parliament in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus voted Jan. 27 to repeal the law that provides for prison sentences of up to five years for male-male sexual relations.

[Update: The law was enacted, as expected, shortly after Jan. 27.]

When the repeal takes effect, the number of countries with anti-gay laws (and jurisdictions such as Northern Cyprus seeking recognition as countries) will drop by one.   The current total is 83 countries with laws against homosexual behavior, or 84 countries if you include Russia because of its law against “gay propaganda.”

The Guardian reported:

“The change of heart by MPs in Northern Cyprus has been partially influenced by neighbouring Turkey’s enthusiasm for revitalising negotiations with the EU on its future membership.

“Legal action against Northern Cyprus’s laws criminalising homosexuality had also been launched at the European court of human rights in Strasbourg by the London-based Human Dignity Trust.

“Cyprus legalised gay sex between consenting adults after a ruling by the human rights court in 1993, but the division between the island’s Greek and Turkish republics meant many criminal laws inherited from the era of British colonial occupation – including the ban on homosexuality – remained in force in the North.”

Headlines from April 2013
Headlines from April 2013

LGBTI News Turkey reported that the bill would also prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender. It also includes provisions about hate speech and hate crimes against LGBT people.

The bill also would eliminate the death penalty, increase penalties for sexual abuse of children and the mentally disabled, and expand the definition of sexual violence, LGBTI News Turkey reported.

The Guardian noted that “Once enacted, the new law will mean that no states in Europe, Australasia or North America criminalise homosexuality. The contrasting trend in Africa, however, has been for new laws banning gay groups to come before local parliaments.”

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]


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  1. Homosexuality is sin against Almighty God. It is an abomination to Him. God says in the New Testament in the Book of Romans, Chapter 1, that it is unnatural and God has turned them over to their own evil devises and what they do in their perversion deserves death. In 1st Timothy Homosexuality is listed as those who do such things will not enter the KOG. In 1st Corinthians, Chapter 6, verse 9, Homosexuality is again listed as those who will not enter the KOG. In 1st Peter again same condemnation against homosexuality. This world needs to be destroyed. DaMN to all who partake of this abominable act as well as those that condone it; according to Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior of all. There is no Name above the Name of Jesus Christ that all people must be saved. So shame on all you legal freaks who determined it unconstitutional to ban same-sex unions since the Constitution was written by people of faith who used the Bible as the basis of God’s desire of holy living. Each of you who have joined the faggot movementioned are depraved and have become satan,s child. You cannot eat and drink of the Lords table and also satans. We are a fallen world. Please Lord come soon to destroy the wicked and make the new Heaven and earth for the few who shall enter your Kingdom. REPENT!

  2. Religion is something of private matter. No one have to be forced to follow religious dogmas o precepts. A democratic state must be totally secular. I am a trans woman and don’t give a shit to what you theocrats say. I don’t have to be forced to follow any bigoted religious dogma. You Christians and other Abrahamic religious people have done enough harm.

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