Cyprus: Civil unions bringing change

Sixteen couples have entered a civil union so far in Cyprus, while a European study shows there is still room for improvement on LGBT issues and social acceptance.

Eight same-sex couples and eight straight couples have tied the knot since the island’s controversial civil union bill was passed by the House last November, following a heated and protracted debate in the House that caused rifts within political parties.

During a seminar on Monday, Cyprus Ombudsman’s office representative Aristos Tsiartas said that legislation legalising same-sex civil unions as well as criminalising hate speech against LGBT people is the biggest step forward in improving human rights.

“The civil union law not only challenges the legal and institutional framework of the country, but it also challenges our conscience, prejudice, and stereotypes,” Tsiartas said. Read more via in Cyprus