By Constantinos Psillides
While the Church neither wants nor has power to enforce its views on people, “it cannot accept two people living together outside of marriage,” a meeting of the Holy Synod concluded on Monday.
The synod met to discuss the proposed bill on civil partnerships, among other things. It approved a circular to be read out at services on Sunday July 5.
“Christian teachings cannot excuse homosexuality or accept homosexuals living together,” read the circular, adding that even if the Church was to accept that the bill deals with the problems of people that don’t belong to the church, “the fact that it regulates issues concerning two homosexual people living together is in itself a perfect perversion.”
The circular notes that laws should aim not just to regulate social issues or satisfy the desires of people but also to educate.
“Laws cannot turn a diversion into law. It is our belief that legislation that is foreign to the people’s morals should best be avoided. Even in countries that are not faced with national survival, these legislations dull their morality and contribute towards dismantling society,” it read.
Discussion on the civil partnership bill began at the House Interior and House Legal Affairs committee.
The legislation was three years in the making, plagued by numerous revisits.
During the Nicosia Gay Pride Parade on June 6 all House parties pledged their support of the bill. While there are some voices of disagreement – most notably from DISY MP Andreas Themistocleous and DIKO MP and chairman of the Human Rights Committee Sofoclis Fittis – it is understood that the parties will pass the legislation as it currently stands.
Gay rights NGO Accept-LGBTI issued a statement last week expressing their concern over the fact that a large number of people were called to express their opinion on the bill, including the church, during the Committee discussion.
The meeting held last week saw almost all guests stating they are in favour of the civil partnership bill.
The Church representative was the only one against it.
The bill is expected to be put to a plenum vote before the end of the month.