Anti-gay law could be repealed by year’s end

Euro MP MarinaYannakoudakis who has been campaigning for the repeal of the anti-homosexual law in the TRNC, met with President Eroglu today. The president said:

“We are going to help them (the political parties) to do it in a much more speedy manner,” adding “I am going to spend effort to have this law go to the assembly.”

Proposals for a repeal were put before lawmakers this year, however, early elections meant that any plans for a repeal needed to be re-tabled.

Mrs. Yannakoudakis met the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), which is currently the largest Turkish Cypriot political party as well as its partner the Democratic Party. She also met with the leader of the smaller Communal Democracy Party (TDP).

All three parties promised to enact a decriminalisation of homosexuality giving a time frame of 1-2 months.

Male homosexuality has been illegal in Northern Cyprus since the island gained independence from British colonial rule in the 1960s, if found guilty, a custodial sentence of up to three years in prison can be ruled as punishment. Female homosexuality is exempt from the law.

Mrs. Yannakoudakis welcomed the positive response saying, “The time is right and it seems that the political will is finally there. Now the Turkish Cypriots must act and keep their promise to me to respect human rights.

I call on all the stakeholders to work together to ensure that a single set of measures to decriminalise homosexuality are tabled without delay. When I next visit the island next year, I look forward to celebrating with my LGBT friends in the north part of Cyprus as they embark upon a new era of equality.”

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