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.

Posted January 27, 2014 at 10:14am ETC by Andy Towle
in Cyprus, Cyprus