Cyprus: House passes historic civil partnerships bill

Activists broke out in applause in the House on Thursday as the plenary gave the nod to a much-anticipated bill on civil cohabitation regulating the rights and obligations couples wishing to enter into a union other than a ‘traditional’ marriage.

Despite carrying the full force of traditional unions between two persons, regulating such issues like inheritance, adoptions are forbidden for couples entering into a civil cohabitation. The prohibition – which some argued is discriminatory – applies to heterosexual as well as same-sex couples.

“This bill is not about homosexuality, rather we are voting for freedom and equality… it is about allowing an alternative union,” said DIKO MP Nicholas Papadopoulos, who was in favour. Dissenting DISY MP Andreas Themistocleous objected that the bill effectively creates a new type of marriage, which would end up changing the fabric of family life in Cyprus.

Initially named cohabitation agreement, the law was renamed to civil cohabitation to reflect the fact that it is not an agreement whose terms were decided by the partners, but a state of affairs regulated by law. Read more via Cyprus Mail