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Cyprus

Presidential candidates pressed on same-sex adoptions

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Accept LGBT Cyprus has prepared its own questions for the 2023 presidential candidates after three of them refused to agree with equal adoption rights for same-sex couples in a recent survey.

The question was posed by Kathimerini newspaper which requested six of the candidates to position themselves on 12 hot topics it has chosen. Among them was also whether same-sex couples should be allowed to have a civil wedding in Cyprus. The candidates had to choose whether they agree or disagree. However some of them chose to elaborate further.

All candidates agreed that homosexual couples should be allowed to have a civil marriage, a position that was welcomed by Accept.

However, only three of the candidates, namely lawyer Achilleas Demetriades, former Cyprus problem negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis and former UCY rector Constantinos Christofides agreed with the right of same-sex couples to adopt children.

Independent candidate Marios Eliades disagreed with the adoption of children by same-sex couples but according to Accept, he later contacted them for more information on the topic.

“We will soon have a meeting with him,” the organisation said, as it slammed the candidates who did not agree with the right, saying their action showed ‘expediency’.

Disy’s leader Averof Neophytou and Nikos Christodoulides chose not to agree or disagree with the question. The former instead was quoted as saying “if this is in the best interest of the child” while the former foreign minister said that a wide consultation with all stakeholders is needed.

These conditions could be accompanied by a simultaneous agreement, Accept said, adding that both candidates had chosen to respond and also add comments in different questions.

The group said it will take further action to clarify the views of the three candidates, by seeking to meet again with them.

Accept added that they will send a separate questionnaire to all the candidates running for president next year in hope that “all the answers will be positive this time, leaving no room for double reading”.

They ended the announcement with a quote by Russian born American author and philosopher Ayn Rand explaining that the majority has not right to vote away the rights of a minority.

“The rights of minorities are not subject to dialogue with the majority. The political system of democracies must safeguard the rights of minorities that are violated by the majority,” Accept wrote.

Homosexuality was decriminalised on the island in 1998, while civil partnership was adopted in 2015, which also includes same-sex couples. But adoptions remain forbidden for couples entering a civil cohabitation, despite the fact that individuals are allowed to adopt children.

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