Cyprus Mail

Civil partnerships still a long way off

By Constantinos Psillides

A BILL legalising civil partnerships has still not been tabled to the House, despite assurances by Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos, and it doesn’t appear as if it will happen any time soon, according to ACCEPT-LGBTI head Costas Gavielides.

Gavrielides headed a delegation, who met the ministry’s permanent secretary Constantinos Nicolaides, to discuss the delay in introducing the bill.

“Mr Nicolaides couldn’t elaborate further in the reasons the bill has been delayed. It was supposed to be introduced to the House a month ago but is still being drafted by the ministry. He promised that he would look into it and get back to us,” Gavrielides told the Cyprus Mail.

The legal framework regarding civil partnerships was first approved by the previous cabinet on February 14, just three days before the first round of the presidential elections.

Hasikos said that his predecessor, Eleni Mavrou, had been tasked with drafting legislation in cooperation with the attorney-general’s office and submitting it to the ministries of finance, health, justice and labour for their imput.

He explained that when he took office he was informed that their commentaries were not included in the draft and that his office has now sent it back to them with a December 6 deadline.

“After that we will post the draft on our website for four weeks, in accordance with the procedure for public debate,” he added.

The draft will then be formed into proposed legislation and sent to the law office of the Republic and finally to the House of Representatives for review, debate and a vote.

Last December the minister promised that the bill would be ready by April.

Hasikos had promised that the government was not backing down on the civil partnership bill. President Nicos Anastasiades met with ACCEPT-LBGTI members during his campaign and promised that the bill would make it to the House floor.

Today ACCEPT-LBGTI will hold Cyprus’ first-ever ‘pride parade’ in Nicosia, 16 years after homosexuality was finally decriminalised in Cyprus.

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