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LGBT rights in Akrotiri and Dhekelia

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the British Overseas Territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia enjoy most of the same rights as non-LGBT people.

Akrotiri and Dhekelia in United Kingdom.svg
Location of LGBT rights in Akrotiri and Dhekelia (red)

in Europe (grey)  –  [Legend]

StatusLegal since 2000,[1] age of consent equalised in 2003
MilitaryLegal since 2000[1]
Discrimination protectionsYes, sexual orientation protections
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsSame-sex marriage since 2014

Due to Akrotiri and Dhekelia being a sovereign military base, the status of LGBT rights in certain areas is ambiguous and unclear. Same-sex marriage has been legal in the territory since June 2014, under the Overseas Marriage (Armed Forces) Order 2014, but only to British military personnel. In most cases, the laws of Akrotiri and Dhekelia and the United Kingdom do not apply to the c. 7,700 Cypriot civilians. Akrotiri and Dhekelia issues birth and death certificates to civilian residents for instance, but only issues marriage certificates to military personnel and their dependents.[2][3]

Law regarding same-sex sexual activityEdit

Same-sex sexual activity was legalised in Akrotiri and Dhekelia in 2000, under the Criminal Code (Amendment) Ordinance 2000. In 2003, the age of consent was equalised for same-sex sexual activities.[1]

Same-sex relationship recognitionEdit

Akrotiri and Dhekelia has both same-sex marriage and civil partnerships under Order in Council of the United Kingdom since 3 June 2014 and 7 December 2005, respectively. This applies only to military personnel.[4][5] A male same-sex couple were married in Dhekelia on 9 October 2016, the first to do so.[6][7][8]

Akrotiri and Dhekelia only issues marriage certificates to British military personnel. The Cypriot civilian population may enter into civil unions under Cypriot law.[2]

Discrimination protectionsEdit

The territory has prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment since 1 March 2013.[9]

Since 1 February 2016, the local Criminal Code has criminalised incitement to violence or hatred on the ground of sexual orientation.[10] Punishment ranges from 3 years imprisonment to a fine of 5,000 pounds.

Summary tableEdit

Same-sex sexual activity legal   (Since 2000)
Equal age of consent   (Since 2003)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only   (Since 2013)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services  
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)   (Since 2016)
Same-sex marriage   (Since 2014)
Recognition of same-sex couples   (Since 2005)
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples  
Joint adoption by same-sex couples  
Access to IVF for lesbians and automatic parenthood for both spouses after birth  
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military   (Since 2000)
Right to change legal gender  
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples   (Banned for heterosexual couples as well)
MSMs allowed to donate blood  

See alsoEdit


  2. ^ a b Laws of the SBAs
  3. ^ Area Offices
  4. ^ Overseas Marriage (Armed Forces) Order 2014 (PDF)
  5. ^ Civil Partnership (Armed Forces) Order 2005 (PDF)
  6. ^ Tanveer Mann (9 October 2016). "Gay couple become first to get married on British military base in Cyprus". Metro.
  7. ^ Meka Beresford (8 October 2016). "Same-sex marriage first as couple wed on British Army base in Cyprus". PinkNews.
  8. ^ "Same-sex marriage first for Army sergeant on Cyprus". Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  9. ^ Employment (Equality) Ordinance 2013
  10. ^ Criminal Code (Amendment) Ordinance 2016