Cyprus Mail

LGBT group urges action against hate speech

annual bi communal lgbtq+ pride at ledra palace inside the un buffer zone in nicosia

LGBT right’s group, Rainbow Families Cy, on Friday called on authorities to take issues of hate speech seriously, instead of allowing extremist rhetoric to grow, following homophobic rhetoric of a schoolbook.

We finally ask for the support of the state, unless that is their goal, to put us and our children completely on the sidelines,” they told the Cyprus Mail.

Regarding the latest incident with the schoolbook that depicted gay parents, which a mother had pulled from the shelves of a kindergarten, the group that they were not surprised by the authorities’ reaction.

“This incident is not new to us. There are similar attacks in our community every day. Whether or not a complaint [with the police] will be filed is something that is still under investigation by the team,” they said.

The group explained to the Cyprus Mail that complaints had been filed with authorities on hate speech in the past, but many have been shelved, while others have been exonerated.

“They [Authorities] only succeed in giving more space to such extreme views, and such events will become more frequent and more intense,” the group said.

The complaint could be filed against the hunters’ association, who following the mother’s complaint, spewed a flurry of homophobic remarks.

They said that children should not be exposed the rhetoric of “mentally disturbed people” and to “insidious attempts to psychologically degenerate children”.

On Wednesday, the education ministry passed the buck on to the parents’ association of a nursery, saying it was the parents who removed a book depicting families with gay parents and not the ministry.

In a statement that day, the right’s group Rainbow Families Cy questioned: “What is inappropriate and immoral with our families?”

The group sent a letter to education minister condemning the comments by the head of primary education, Marios Stylianides, who had announced the book was immediately withdrawn.

In their letter, the group said: “Rainbow Families in Cyprus exist, and we are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, who have their parental rights trampled daily.”

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