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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

At its worst levels, the rise of homophobia in Cyprus – Two complaints every week

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Στα χειρτερα εεδρσοοσσ ;ηπροκτγλεεεδ ομaδ&alpha?

Conversely, time has begun to count for the tenth pride march of the LGBTI community, which is expected to take place on June 1, however, despite the fact that it has been a decade since the day that the different began to be celebrated in Cyprus, the situation in society testifies that perceptions and acceptance remained stuck in the previous century.

It is commonly accepted that in recent years, LGBTI activism has become more intense, with Cyprus taking some steps forward and promoting some basic human rights of individuals of the LGBTI community, however the pace followed, in terms of acceptance and full respect for rights of the people of the community it seems that it does not seem to be moving fast, on the contrary, steps have started to be taken backwards, especially after the pandemic era.

“From 2014 until today there was some ups and downs, in the sense that the situation improved year by year, with the acceptance of the Cypriot society. However, after the pandemic, we had a huge setback and it is a common finding that from 2023 and 2024 we are in the worst phase, as far as homophobia is concerned”, a member of ACCEPT's Board of Directors told REPORTER.

What has been of great concern to people in the LGBTI community is that the situation seems to have gotten out of hand, with hate speech being spread throughout society, and complaints received by ACCEPT of attacks against members of the community have also increased. The magnitude of the problem can be seen in the numbers, since as reported by ACCEPT, in other years, before the pandemic, there were two reports of attacks per year, while now there are two reports per week.

“Homophobes have been emboldened and that's because of the impunity for hate speech. Despite the fact that there is a law, public hate speech by people who have a platform, either in Parliament or in public, is not punished and citizens, after seeing these examples, think they can do it themselves”.

< p data-block-key="dvn26">They hit people in the car and the Police defended the perpetrators

According to the complaints made to the organization, the hate crimes that have started to increase are essentially attacks in public places, such as streets, and for this reason, there is a close cooperation with the Police, which in most cases responds to the complaints. To this end, an effort has been launched to train members of the Police on LGBTI and homophobia issues. However, despite the fact that these trainings have begun, there was an incident where a police officer expressed his personal opinion when called upon to respond to an assault complaint and essentially defended the perpetrators.

“A certain police officer, at a station in Nicosia, confronted the victims who went to report an attack in a quite homophobic manner, saying things that are not appropriate. Specifically, it was two people of the same sex who kissed in their vehicle and two other people entered the vehicle from behind and started beating them from behind. The victims went to report it and the police officer told them “this thing bothers me too, it's illegal to kiss in public and they can report you too”. What he was saying was quite absurd”.

The reasons behind the backsliding of views

And while Cyprus had begun to is taking steps forward, the corona virus pandemic, which locked everyone at home and was the reason for the outbreak of fake news, we gathered negatively, so that the regress of opinions, regarding the issues of the LGBTQI community, began, with the result the situation right now, to be the worst in a decade.

“This has also contributed to the transgender theory that has started in America and the gender theory, which has nothing to do with Cyprus. Also, there is the fake news with the images of Panagia from abroad, but it was in a way that it seemed that it was in Cyprus. Also, there is the fake news about sexual education, that we teach sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. And there is also the development of technology, which makes it easier for fake news to spread. Another reason behind the backsliding is the fact that the discussion about conversion therapies was opened, because it brought the Cypriot society against us, because false news was heard such as that we are trying to silence the priests”, the ACCEPT member emphasized.

At the same time, the organization leaves sharp points against the political parties, since it seems that they no longer have the issues of the LGBTI community in their priorities and some who supported them, have now turned on them the back, fearing that they will lose votes in the upcoming elections. However, the organization continues contacts, in an effort to bring about change.

“We had contact with political parties that support us, to look at the issues of homophobia. We know that the President of the Republic supports Pride, but we do not see the political will to have other legislations for human rights, such as civil marriage, which was done in Greece”.

Source: reporter.com.cy

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