Northern Cyprus Repeals Criminalization of Homosexuality
January 28, 2014 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Associate Director of Digital Media
Yesterday the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus voted to repeal the criminalization of homosexuality, making it the final European territory to revoke its prohibition on same-sex relations.
The amendment passed with 28 votes in favor, 21 abstentions and one in opposition.
President Derviş Eroğluis is expected to sign the reform sometime over the next two weeks.
While there is now no law criminalizing homosexuality anywhere in Europe, Australia and North America, for large swaths of the globe LGBT-identified individuals still live in fear of persecution.
Earlier this month, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, enacted one of the world’s most repressive anti-LGBT laws, criminalizing same-sex marriage and outlawing membership in organizations that promote equality. Openly gay and lesbian Nigerians could face prison sentences of up to 14 years for engaging in same-sex “amorous relationships.” The law has resulted in an all-out witch-hunt for gay and lesbian Nigerians.
And the recently enacted anti-LGBT laws in Russia have prompted a firestorm of violence toward the LGBT community. LGBT Russians have faced assault, fear of prosecution for advocating for equality and now the threat of their children being taken away as the parliament prepares to debate yet another anti-LGBT measure after the Olympics.
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