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Up to president to decide on sex education law says Prodromou

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The future of the contentious sex education law lies in the hands of President Nicos Anastasiades who will decide whether to sign it into effect or return it to parliament, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said on Monday.

Meanwhile the Green party has called on the attorney general to investigate independent MP Andreas Themistocleous for hate speech rhetoric, during his speech in plenum.

Speaking at a press conference over developments on school exams, Prodromou highlighted changing the school schedule would be the largest hurdle in implementing sex education.

“It’s not just a matter of legality. We started teaching younger children sex education last year so as to give them the tools they need against malicious intents stemming from adults,” he said.

“Deciding to introduce it to all ages by a certain date raises a number of questions.”

A lot of preparation needs to be done and the ministry has its own planning to take into account, he said.

“We will wait for the president to take decisions over the matter.”

The law was voted through in parliament with the votes of Disy, Edek, Dipa and the Green party. Diko abstained while Elam and independent MP Themistocleous voted against.

In a statement, the Green party condemned the “cesspool of racist and vulgar speech from the floor of parliament that Themistocleous carried out”.

It called on the attorney-general to intervene and waive Themistocleous’ parliamentary immunity so he can be investigated for violating the law on hate speech.

“This is not the first time the MP behaved in such a way. We’ve seen sexist, offensive and aggressive behaviour from him to Efi Xanthou and former MP George Perdikis.

“We must show zero tolerance to any extreme behaviour which aims to silence and discriminate between the sexes.”

During the parliamentary session, Themistocleous also “hurled insults and vulgar insinuations” towards Green party leader Charalambos Theopemptou, who was the deputy that submitted the bill.

Themistocleous unleashed a tirade of comments against the law, saying it would teach children that “it’s OK for two women to kiss each other and for men the same.”

The deputy said whichever hand it was that authored the law it “was guided by a diseased brain” and “we are living in a porn-fuelled and gay storm.”

“The law is nothing but an abomination. It is disgusting, deplorable and sad. You can’t just grab a child and teach them whatever you want. They’ll teach kids that there are 64 genders, about gender fluidity. So that Kostakis was born a boy and then became Mariyoulla.”

On Saturday, Akel also called on the attorney-general to investigate Themistocleous over hate speech against LGBTI+.

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