This post was most recently updated on November 7th, 2020
As per the current law, the Republic of Cyprus doesn’t officially recognize same-sex marriage as a legal entity. However, same-sex couples can have their relationship recognized through Civil Unions.
The Cypriot Government doesn’t say same-sex marriage is illegal but also they don’t say it’s fully legal.
Today in this article, we will discuss same-sex marriages in Cyprus, LGBT rights, and what civil union is.
Stick till the end of the article, and I am sure your confusion will be cleared.
A civil union is a legally recognized arrangement that is similar to marriage, created primarily as a means to provide recognition in law for same-sex couples.
In simple words, if a country hasn’t legalized same-sex marriage yet but, has allowed them to live together, then that’s the law of the Civil Union.
They are allowing same-sex couples to cohabitate as per the civil union law.
Civil Union is also called the Civil Partnership.
In 1989, Denmark first proposed and implemented the law of Civil Union.
After them, most of the developed countries also established the law in order to provide legal recognition for unmarried same-sex couples and to provide them the rights and benefits equal to other married couples.
On 9th December 2015, Cyprus also adopted the Civil Union law in their country.
They haven’t legalized same-sex marriage yet, but the LGBT community is allowed to have a live-in relationship together.
Initially, Civil Union was created in order to provide recognition to LGBT people in a relationship. But, now it is also provided to the straight people, who don’t want to get married but want to live together.
While civil unions are often established for both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples, in a number of countries they are available to same-sex couples only.
LGBT Rights in Cyprus
For those of you who don’t know what LGBT is, it stands for Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.
Here is some more information if you are wondering:
Lesbian is a homosexual woman.
A Lesbian is a woman who gets attracted to other women.
Gay is a homosexual person.
Gays are the people whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attractions are to people of the same sex.
Gay is typically referring to a man.
Sometimes lesbian is the preferred term for women.
A Bisexual is a person who has emotional, romantic or sexual attractions/relations with both men and women.
They need not have had any sexual experience at all to identify as bisexual.
Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from the sex that they were assigned at birth.
Some transgender people who desire medical assistance to transition from one sex to another identify as transsexual.
Traditionally, Cyprus didn’t accept the LGBT community, but ever since Cyprus joined the European Union, Cypriots have been more accepting of it.
After joining the EU, they had to change the human rights law for it to be easily acceptable by everyone.
Now, a majority of Cypriots support legal recognition of same-sex couples in the form of civil unions.
Here are some of the recognized rights provided by the Cypriot government to the LGBT community:
- Same-sex sexual activity is legal. (Since 1998)
- Equal age of consent. (Since 2002)
- Same-sex relationships. (Since 2015)
- Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples.
- Joint adoption by same-sex couples.
- Anti-discrimination laws in employment.
- Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services.
- Hate crime law includes sexual orientation and gender identity.
In 2004, Cyprus implemented an anti-discrimination law which forbids people to discriminate against others on the basis of their sexual orientation.
According to the law, any person who intentionally spreads hatred, threats, and insults against the LGBT group, then that person is imprisoned for at least 3 years or have to pay a fine not less than 5000 Euros.
Accept-LGBT is an officially registered organization in Cyprus dealing with LGBT rights. It fully registered on 8 September 2011. It has the support of many citizens, assisted by various NGOs, the European Parliament, and foreign embassies operating in Cyprus.
As of today (26th October 2020), same-sex marriage isn’t officially recognized by the Cypriot government.
Even though same-sex marriage is acceptable through civil partnership, it doesn’t give equal rights as compared to the rights provided to straight couples.
LGBT rights campaigners consider Civil Union as the “First-Step” towards establishing same-sex marriage.
Let’s hope they get full recognition.
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