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Recognition of same-sex unions in Cyprus

Cyprus has recognised same-sex unions since 9 December 2015 by allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil cohabitations. A bill to establish civil cohabitations was approved by the Cypriot Parliament on 26 November 2015. The law took effect on 9 December 2015 upon publication in the country's official gazette.

Civil cohabitationEdit

 
Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe¹
  Marriage
  Civil union
  Limited domestic recognition (cohabitation)
  Limited foreign recognition (residency rights)
  Unrecognized
  Constitution limits marriage to opposite-sex couples
¹ May include recent laws or court decisions that have not yet entered into effect.

In 2010, the Permanent Secretary at the Interior Ministry, Lazaros Savvides, indicated that the Cypriot Government would begin examining the issue of whether same-sex marriage should be made legal in the country.[1]

This was followed in 2013 by an announcement by the Interior Minister, Eleni Mavrou, that her officials were working on a parliamentary bill proposing the creation of civil partnerships, rather than extending the right to marry to same-sex couples.[2] The Cypriot Government subsequently accepted the draft bill.[3] In March of that year, newly elected President Nicos Anastasiades reaffirmed his support for the bill.[4] In November 2013, the Interior Minister, Socratis Hasikos, confirmed that the bill remained on the government agenda, with a draft prepared and sent to other ministries for review. The intention was to hold a parliamentary vote in April 2014,[5] but, by June 2014, the bill had still not been submitted. According to the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Constantinos Nicolaides, the bill should have been completed in April, but was still being drafted.[6] In July 2014, Hasikos clarified that a proposed bill would need consensus from all parties before moving forward. He gave all parties a copy of the bill and asked that they study it in time for a second meeting that same September. Hasikos stressed that he would not hold a vote until he was sure all parties were in favour.[7]

In March 2014, the head of the Orthodox Church in Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, signalled his opposition to plans to introduce either civil partnership or marriage rights, urging churches to take a stand against homosexuality and accusing secular governments of "weakening moral integrity" through acknowledging equal rights to homosexuals: "When, for example, governments legalise not only plain civil partnership but ‘homosexual marriage’, the Church must be unequivocal in condemning homosexuality."[8]

On 6 May 2015, the Cypriot Cabinet approved a gender-neutral "cohabitation agreement" bill with many of the rights of marriage.[9] On 6 June 2015, the ruling party DISY announced their support for the partnership law.[10][11] The bill had its first reading on 18 June 2015.[12] On 1 July 2015, Parliament decided to rename the proposed partnership recognition scheme to "civil cohabitation" (Greek: πολιτική συμβίωση; Turkish: sivil birlikte yaşama).[13][14] The second reading was initially planned to be held on 9 July, but was postponed until autumn.[15] The bill had its second and third reading on 26 November 2015 and passed in a 39-12 vote with 3 abstentions.[16][17] It was published in the official gazette on 9 December 2015 and took effect upon publication.[18][19][20]

StatisticsEdit

 
Laws regarding same-sex partnerships on the island of Cyprus
  Marriage (among British citizens only)
  Civil unions
  Unrecognized

The country's first civil cohabitation was registered on 29 January 2016 by two women.[21] The first public ceremony was held on 4 March 2016 by two men in the capital city of Nicosia.[22]

By 18 April 2016, eight same-sex civil cohabitations were registered.[23][24]

From January to October 2016, approximately 70 same-sex couples had registered their unions in the country.[25]

Civil cohabitations are also very popular among different-sex couples. By August 2017, for instance, heterosexual couples represented about 70% of all couples, while same-sex couples made up the remaining 30%.[26]

Public opinionEdit

The 2006 Eurobarometer found that only 14% of Cypriots were in favour of same-sex marriage.[27] This was the third lowest in the European Union at the time (only in Latvia and Romania was support lower). The 2015 Eurobarometer found that support had increased to 37%, while 56% were against legalising same-sex marriage.[28]

With regards to civil unions, a 2014 survey found that 53.3% of Cypriots supported civil unions or partnerships for same-sex couples.[29]

The 2019 Eurobarometer found that 36% of Cypriots thought same-sex marriage should be allowed throughout Europe, 60% were against.[30]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Charalambous, Charles (28 February 2010). "Government to look at legalising gay marriage". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  2. ^ Pantelides, Poly (17 January 2013). "Moving towards civil partnerships". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  3. ^ Pantelides, Poly (17 January 2013). "LGBT group hails decision on civil partnerships". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013.
  4. ^ "DISY 'fully backs civil partnerships'". Cyprus Mail. 8 March 2013. Archived from the original on 4 May 2013.
  5. ^ Psillides, Constantinos (19 November 2013). "Civil partnership bill will go ahead". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  6. ^ Psillides, Constantinos (31 May 2014). "Civil partnerships still a long way off". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  7. ^ Psillides, Constantinos (4 July 2014). "Civil partnership bill needs consensus, Hasikos tells MPs". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  8. ^ Anastasiou, Angelos (9 March 2014). "Storm of protest over Archbishop's anti-gay comments". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  9. ^ Psillides, Constantinos (6 May 2015). "Cabinet approves bill on civil partnerships". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Συνεδρία Πολιτικού Γραφείου Δημοκρατικού Συναγερμού - Απόφαση για Σύμφωνο Συμβίωσης". Democratic Rally. 7 June 2015. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  11. ^ Turner, Katy (6 June 2013). "Gay pride parade held in Nicosia". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  12. ^ Christou, Jean (18 June 2015). "Civil partnerships a 'reckless novelty' Bishop says". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  13. ^ (in Turkish) Temsilciler Meclisinde, sivil birlikte yaşama üzerine bir yasa tasarısı çoğunluk tarafından onaylandı
  14. ^ Psyllides, George (1 July 2015). "House tinkers with civil partnership bill ahead of vote". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  15. ^ Hazou, Elias (9 July 2015). "Civil unions bill must wait after 'backroom moves' to water it down". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  16. ^ Hazou, Elias (26 November 2015). "House passes historic civil partnerships bill". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  17. ^ "Civil unions become law". Cyprus Weekly. 26 November 2015. Archived from the original on 28 May 2016.
  18. ^ "ΕΠΙΣΗΜΗ ΕΦΗΜΕΡΙΔΑ ΤΗΣ ΚΥΠΡΙΑΚΗΣ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑΣ ΠΑΡΑΡΤΗΜΑ ΠΡΩΤΟ ΝΟΜΟΘΕΣΙΑ - ΜΕΡΟΣ Ι Αριθμός 4543 Τετάρτη ,9 Δεκεμβρίου 2015: Αριθμός 184(Ι) του 2015 ΝΟΜΟΣ ΠΟΥ ΠΡΟΝΟΕΙ ΓΙΑ ΤΗ ΣΥΝΑΨΗ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΗΣ ΣΥΜΒΙΩΣΗΣ" (PDF). Ministry of Finance of Cyprus. 9 December 2015. pp. 14–32. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  19. ^ "Τέθηκε σε ισχύ η πολιτική συμβίωση στην Κύπρο". Antivirus. 11 December 2015. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Civil Unions Bill in effect". Cyprus Weekly. 22 December 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  21. ^ Chrysostomou, Annette (20 January 2016). "First civil partnership to be signed, interest grows". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  22. ^ "Cyprus' first public gay wedding takes aim at prejudices". Associated Press. Yahoo! News. 4 March 2016. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016.
  23. ^ "Civil unions bringing change to Cyprus". Cyprus Weekly. 19 April 2016. Archived from the original on 27 April 2016.
  24. ^ Choros, Evgenia (19 April 2016). "Eight Same-Sex Couples Enter Civil Partnership in Cyprus". Greek Reporter. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Gay Rights Groups Build Alliances to Counter Climate of Fear". Associated Press. Between the Lines. 27 October 2016. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  26. ^ (in Greek) Σύμφωνο συμβίωσης επιλέξαν 159 ετερόφυλα ζευγάρια και 26 ομόφυλα
  27. ^ Eight EU Countries Back Same-Sex Marriage Angus Reid Global Monitor
  28. ^ Special Eurobarometer 437 Archived 17 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Storm of protest over Archbishop’s anti-gay comments
  30. ^ "Eurobarometer on Discrimination 2019: The social acceptance of LGBTI people in the EU". TNS. European Commission. p. 2. Retrieved 23 September 2019.