Today: Tuesday, 21 May 2024 year

In Cyprus, for persuasion not to change sex, you can end up in jail.

In Cyprus, for persuasion not to change sex, you can end up in jail.

The Cypriot Parliament on Thursday passed a law criminalizing so-called conversion therapy, which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation, even talking about traditional values ​​with priests can fall under it.

The criminalization of conversion therapy aimed at changing, suppressing or eliminating sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression has been actively sought by the LGBT community.

Now, the use of conversion therapy, the announcement or advertising of conversion therapy is punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to two years and / or a fine of up to five thousand euros.

The use of conversion therapy on a minor or a person under legal guardianship is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years and/or a fine of up to ten thousand euros.

The law was adopted with 36 votes in favor, six deputies voted against, one abstained.

The bill was submitted to the Parliament by Yorgos Kukumas, a member of the AKEL (Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus, which was considered communist) a year and a half ago, and was discussed for a long time in the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs. Deputies were convinced that conversion therapy causes psychological harm.
The Cypriot Orthodox Church opposed the bill.

The bill’s sponsor said those who accept that LGBT people are not sick should support the proposal, and many countries are moving towards criminalizing “this torture.” Kukumas called the legalization of psychotherapy in the name of consent dangerous and added that everyone understands that priests should not be exempted from liability, especially a week after the former metropolitan was sentenced for indecent acts. He also said that the position of the Holy Synod is “problematic and unscientific”.

MP Alexandra Attalidou, during the discussion, stated that conversion therapy is any exhortation, coercion or pressure to change sexual orientation or gender identity by persons who can be either medical professionals or spiritual or religious mentors, such as priests, confessors , imams, shamans or alternative healers. She said it is sad that the church “perceives as degenerate the protection of the rights of vulnerable groups, which has been persecuted for years.” She added that Christ speaks of love for all people, and called on the church to protect all residents and keep up with science.

Now LGBT representatives are seeking official recognition by the authorities of their rights to civil marriages and adoption of children.