Accept LGBTI Cyprus annual pride parade returns in Nicosia after two years of pandemic pause to raise awareness for marriage equality.

Following the renewal of the NGO’s board and a two-year break due to Covid-19, Accept LGBTI Cyprus officially announced the organisation of its annual pride march which will take place on at 5.30pm September 25 with the slogan ‘Marriage for all’.

This year’s parade aims to push for legislation that will enable full marriage equality, the group said, noting that members of the LGBTQIA+ community can be legally married in 31 countries.

Same-sex marriage remains illegal on the island where homosexuality was decriminalised in 1998. Civil partnership was adopted in 2015, which also includes same-sex couples. But adoptions remain forbidden for couples entering a civil cohabitation, even though individuals are allowed to adopt children.

“This year we are raising our pride flags even higher in what is predicted to be an even more massive and dynamic march,” Accept LGBTI said.

The starting and finishing point of the march will be the Nicosia Municipal Garden, where the established festival will take place with activities for all ages. Among others, the well-known performers Katerina Stikoudi and Yannis Margaris, who constantly support the rights of LGBTI people, will be performing during the event.

“We will walk together again…for a better world, without exclusion, will walk together again to claim equal rights for all LGBT+ people in our country, but also for the right of every human being to live and express themselves freely.

“Together we will be able to restart the progress for LGBTQ+ equality and equality in Cyprus and remind the state and society that the LGBTQ+ community is here but its problems remain unsolved,” the group added.

Apart from the march, other parallel actions will take place in September including a discussion on LGBTQI+ couples with children (LGBTQI+ families), a presentation of research on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the LGBTQI+ community in Cyprus but also parties and other interactive events in Limassol and Nicosia before and after the march.

“The LGBTQ+ community should not remain in quarantine either because of a pandemic or because of the state or any of us,” the announcement added.

More information about the actions can be found on the Accept – LGBTI Cyprus page and social media.

Earlier this year, the first intercommunal pride parade was organised by grassroots organisations in the buffer zone of the divided capital where two large rainbow flags were sewn together.