Across the globe, issues of LGBT rights and marriage have been a major talking point as governments have decided to either grant LGBT people equal rights or strip them of their freedoms. And although some countries, such as Russia, have done the latter, Russia’s neighbors to the West recently took a step toward progress as the last territory in Europe to decide on the matter recently decriminalized homosexuality.
According to Reuters, yesterday, the parliament of Turkish Cypriot-controlled northern Cyprus voted to decriminalize homosexuality between consenting adult men and abolish the criminal code provisions that carried five-year prison sentences for the once unlawful act. Oddly enough, women weren’t mentioned in the code.
“We decriminalized homosexuality but we also changed that whole section [of the code] to modernize laws protecting human rights,” lawmaker Bogus Derya said.
Cyprus has been divided into Greek and Turkish parts since 1974 and the Greek-controlled southern side of Cyprus decriminalized homosexuality back in the 1990s amid pressure from the European Union.
Now that the Turkish side of Cyprus is moving toward progress with LGBT rights, LGBT advocates are applauding the nation for taking a step in the right direction.
“We welcome today’s vote and can finally call Europe a continent completely free from laws criminalising homosexuality,” said Paulo Corte-Real from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, a rights advocacy group.
We applaud Cyprus too for decriminalizing homosexuality and we hope that the nation beings to also acknowledge the rights, and even more so the simple existence, of women in their laws. –nicholas robinson