Bill Criminalizing Homophobic Behavior Introduced In Cyprus Parliament

CyprusrainbowAs Cyprus heads toward its first ever gay pride parade later this month, the House Legal Affairs Committee has introduced an intriguing and exciting bill to parliament. The bill would criminalize homophobic behavior with a severe punishment: a 5,000 euro fine and up to three years in prison. 

ILGA Europe reports:

AKEL MP Aristos Damianou told the press that it was about time to introduce a bill regarding homophobic behaviour, since racist and xenophobic behaviour are already criminalised. Asked what constitutes “homophobic behaviour”, he said that the bill defines it as one “that encourages hate against individuals or groups that have a sexual preference.” Damianou added that “in this day and age we are required to do so by our international commitments."

Asked by the Cyprus Mail why “homophobic behaviour” has such a vague definition, the MP said that vagueness was in fact the goal of the legislators. “The definition is purposefully vague so as to give courts the flexibility to judge such cases based on the evidence before them."

Opposing party AKEL would prefer slight more definition; they've asked the committee to revise the bill in order to allow individuals to file suit within its parameters.

The Cyprus LGBT community is also awaiting the passage of a civil union bill which has been in the works for some months. 


  1. Dana says

    Hardly “exciting” Andy.. If we support freedom of speech, then we must support freedom for all kinds, even the kind that we don’t like. The right wing in this country looks to Europe and says that their anti-speech and religious-restricting laws prove that the LGBT community wants to take away their right to be bigots. They claim we are intolerant and want to oppress them. Your introduction just feeds that narrative

  2. Chuck Mielke says

    Playing devil’s advocate for a moment, I must note that “… against individuals or groups that have a sexual preference” means that bisexuals could be singled out. My point is only that the quoted phrase seems so vague as to be almost useless. I admit that I can think of no more suitable phrase…

  3. Wendy3Becca says

    It isn’t really criminalizing bigotry, but bigoted behavior…. I think. It is a very odd law. In HS I, and I would guess some others here as well, was put through hell. Many did not like me because I was different. That’s life I guess. I never expected anyone to tell them they would be punished for not liking me, or thinking me odd. Actually I felt proud not to be like those idiots. Only if they physically manifested their hatred would I expect something to be done.

  4. Randy says

    Wendy3becca: “Doesn’t everyone have a sexual preference?”

    Some bisexuals, and I assume all asexuals do not have a sexual “preference”, as the translator has put it.

  5. Kylian says

    @Wendy3Becca: although both have greek as their official language, Greece (the Hellenic Republic) and the Republic of Cyprus are two distinct countries. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus would be a third country, but this one (created after the 1974 invasion by the Turks) is only recognized by Turkey. @vera: this is about the southern part, AKEL (ανορθωτικό κόμμα εργαζόμενου λαού, progressive workers’ party) is a greek cypriotic party :-)

  6. Patrick says

    If that passes, I will NOT bring my gay tourism dollars to another bigoted country.Some nations will NEVER learn. These ass backwards nations are showing the world how regressive they truly are. The list keeps growing.

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