Cyprus Mail

Progress made in protecting LGBT+ rights, say diplomats

Photo: Christos Theodorides

There has been significant progress in recognising and protecting LGBT+ rights in Cyprus, the group Cyprus Diplomats for Equality said in an announcement on Friday.

The group also welcomed a recent law to criminalise pseudo-conversion therapies.

In an announcement for pride month, the group said that it stands united in the common dedication to defend the rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, identity and/or expression of gender or racial characteristics.

Its members also state that they are encouraged by the significant progress made in the struggles to recognise and protect the rights of LGBTI+ people in Cyprus, while welcoming the adoption of the proposed law criminalising conversion therapies, which is a positive step, towards ending the practice that causes significant harm to LGBTI+ people.

“These practices have long been denounced by doctors and psychologists. We also applaud the work that has been done on the Gender Identity Bill over the last year to ensure that transgender people are treated with dignity,” it added.

In addition, the Diplomats for Equality congratulated the Republic of Cyprus for its role as vice-chair of the Working Group on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression and Racial Characteristics (GT-ADI-SOGI) of the Council of Europe’s standing committee against discrimination, pointing out that the unanimous support that Cyprus received from the 31 member states of the council of Europe that participate in this committee proves the confidence that the country enjoys in promoting diversity and in the fight against discrimination.

Members of the group also applaud the work of social movements of the LGBTI+ community throughout Cyprus, as they play an important role in promoting the rights and well-being of LGBTI+ people.

“Their tireless efforts to raise awareness, advocate and educate help create a more supportive environment, promoting visibility and acceptance of the LGBTQI+ community,” they added.

In the above context, the group also welcomes the efforts of the Turkish Cypriot LGBTI+ organisations, “whose targeted campaigns and public actions have succeeded in starting campaigns and discussions around the rights of LGBTI+ people, repelling prejudices and misconceptions.”

The group said that the visibility of the LGBTI+ community is important to realise how far people have progressed, but also to see how much there is still to do.

“We proudly participated in Cyprus Pride on May 27 on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) and look forward to participating in the United By Pride march on June 17.

“In solidarity, let’s celebrate diversity and continue to work towards a future where everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or racial characteristics, is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve,” the group said.

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