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European Continent Now Completely Free of Laws Criminalizing Gay Sex After Cypriot State Repeal

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The European continent is now completely free of laws criminalizing gay sex after lawmakers in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus voted today to repeal a colonial era sodomy ban. The bill, which was passed on a second reading, still requires endorsement by Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu but he has promised to sign it.

Cyprus Mail reports:

In the north, homosexuality was punishable by imprisonment for five years and Turkish Cypriot activists, had even until recently been forced to hold protests in secret, leaving LGBT signs and symbols anonymously in various places.

Paulo Côrte-Real, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s executive Board, welcomed the move: “We can finally call Europe a continent completely free from laws criminalising homosexuality. In 1981, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in its historic judgment in Dudgeon v UK case that such laws are in breach of the European Human Rights Convention and must be abolished. It took Europe 33 years to completely free the continent from these unjust and discriminatory laws.”

In August 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) agreed to examine a legal challenge against Turkey for the north’s continued failure to repeal a law banning homosexuality.

North America, Australia, and now Europe are free of laws criminalizing homosexuality.

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  1. from the look of that map, it appears that Cyprus is "Occupied"!!! I wonder why nobody seems to care about this occupation...oh yeah...can't blame Israel.

    Posted by: Myackie | Jan 27, 2014 10:26:51 AM


  2. While it might be technically true that Russia is an eastern European country that doesn't criminalize gay sex, it's a distinction hardly worth celebrating, considering the state-sponsored homophobia now in place.

    Posted by: scooternva | Jan 27, 2014 10:31:18 AM


  3. Not to point out the obvious, but Cyprus is an island and not actually part of the European continent.

    Posted by: Sam | Jan 27, 2014 10:31:51 AM


  4. How exactly are we defining "North America"? Belize still has laws criminalizing homosexuality, as do several Caribbean nations (which are as much a part of the "North American continent" as Cyprus is part of the "European continent").

    Posted by: Alex | Jan 27, 2014 10:36:58 AM


  5. I never knew Cyprus was an island with more than one nation like with Haiti and the Dominican Republic. I learned something new today!

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Jan 27, 2014 11:07:25 AM


  6. There is no "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus". It is a rogue state, propped up by the turkish occupation army, recognised by nobody except Turkey.

    The Republic of Cyprus has a single legitimate government, the northern outlaw regime notwithstanding.

    Posted by: ct | Jan 27, 2014 11:11:04 AM


  7. @Spacecadet: What Cyprus is, is an almighty clusterfuck.

    While the TRNC is de facto a separate country, it isn't actually recognised as such by any other nation except Turkey itself. Everyone else, including the UN, recognises the Republic of Cyprus (the southern half) as being the legitimate government of the whole island.

    This situation has persisted since 1974, because (a)the two sides point blank refuse to negotiate with each other, and (b) as Myakie said, Israel isn't involved.

    Posted by: Dave | Jan 27, 2014 11:16:17 AM


  8. The residents of North Cyprus are more than happy with their independence from their Greek co-islanders.

    Let's remember it was the Greek Cypriots utter stupidity that led to the partition of the island in the first place.

    Posted by: MaryM | Jan 27, 2014 11:16:19 AM


  9. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the product of the USA politics.

    Btw, those are great news.

    Posted by: TheSeer | Jan 27, 2014 11:21:03 AM


  10. What about Belize?

    Posted by: Aepol1 | Jan 27, 2014 11:22:51 AM


  11. Belize is considered Central America, not North America

    not sure about the island nations like Jamaica

    Posted by: Grover Underwood | Jan 27, 2014 12:04:43 PM


  12. Cyprus is part of the European continent and is part of the European Union.

    Turkey is part of the European continent, classically speaking - what is the position with those laws?

    Posted by: knorman | Jan 27, 2014 12:14:19 PM


  13. Looks like I'm poster #13 & the first person to celebrate Europe's good news? Clearly, Towleroad commenters are a glass-half-empty bunch of people.

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Jan 27, 2014 12:37:51 PM


  14. Good news is nice.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Jan 27, 2014 1:28:21 PM


  15. "North America, Australia, and now Europe are free of laws criminalizing homosexuality"

    False.

    Belize punishes gay sex by 10 years imprisonment.

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 27, 2014 5:30:43 PM


  16. Wasn'tBelize formerly British Honduras? I think we have the English to thank for this.

    Posted by: Fahd | Jan 27, 2014 5:58:06 PM


  17. Good news but a silly lead. If you told a Muscovite they were Asian they'd pmmel you l

    Posted by: Chevytexas | Jan 28, 2014 8:16:47 AM


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