Cyprus Mail

Archbishop referred to attorney-general’s office for controversial comments on homosexuals

The project has the support of all the island's religious leaders

Accept-LGBTI Cyprus on Monday lodged an official report on Archbishop Chrysostomos with the attorney-general for promoting hatred based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The official report follows the archbishop’s comments last week during a TV show that he would tell school children that homosexuality was a sin and unnatural and that one ought to struggle to overcome it. The report also concerns the church primate’s comments two days later when he tried to rectify the situation but made things worse when said that while the church loved homosexuals but that homosexuals today ‘had no shame’ and went overboard by organising events such as pride parades.

“We find that the archbishop violated article 99Α(1) of the criminal code,” the group said in the letter to the attorney-general.

Lat year parliament amended the penal code, making it a crime to engage in unacceptable behaviour and violence against people based on their sexual orientation. Depending on the offence, perpetrators could face up to three years in jail or a fine of up to €5,000, or both.

More specifically, the group said, the archbishop said that he would tell small children that homosexuality was not normal, that it is an aberration, and that homosexuals “cannot have a well-established life unless they overcome their bad self”.

The group also said that the meaning of the archbishop’s comments that “proper people” would graduate from the schools the church aims to establish, was to eradicate homosexuality through these institutions. Through his overall comments, they said, the archbishop also insinuated that all LGBTI are immoral.

“As you can see, these statements constitute hate speech as they directly incite hatred towards the LGBTI community and indirectly cause psychological and other violence to the church-going LGBTI persons and their families,” the group said.

The archbishop’s comments also violated the right not to be discriminated against according to resolutions and recommendations from the United Nations, the European Union, and the Council of Europe, the group said.






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