War of words over gays

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Yoryis Regginos
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War of words over gays

Ενδιαφέρον άρθρο στην αγγλόφωνη Κυπριακή εφημερίδα Σάυπρους Μέηλ. Διαβάστε το πιο κάτω (αλλά και στην ιστοσελίδα της εφημερίδας) και σχολιάστε πιο κάτω (αλλά και στην ιστοσελίδα της εφημερίδας). Ήδη υπάρχουν αρκετά ενδιαφέροντα σχόλια και απόψεις. Όσο περισσότερο υποστηρίξουμε τις θέσεις μας, τόσο το καλύτερο.
Μια μικρή προτροπή: η διατήρηση ηρεμίας στις συζητήσεις μας, είτε αυτές είναι ζωντανές, είτε μέσω κάποιου φόρουμ όπως αυτό εδώ, είτε σε τρίτη ιστοσελίδα, όπως της εφημερίδας, είναι πολύ σημαντική και βοηθά στο να επικεντρωθεί ο αναγνώστης στα επιχειρήματα μας και όχι στην ενδεχόμενη έντονη γλώσσα που τυχόν χρησιμοποιήσουμε.

War of words over gays
By Stefanos Evripidou- Published on July 18, 2010
A CYPRIOT MP has drawn fire from a group of European parliamentarians for suggesting a causal link between countries providing a legal status for same-sex couples and the decriminalisation of bestiality.
DISY deputy Andreas Themistocleous has found himself in hot water after engaging in a public debate with a group of 88 MEPs representing the European Parliament’s Intergroup for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people.
The war of words began after Themistocleous made contentious remarks during a live radio show last April on the Ombudswoman’s recommendation to allow same-sex partnerships. At one point while debating with the Ombudswoman, the Limassol deputy said: “Just because there exist among us paedophiles, people who practice bestiality, necrophiliacs and other criminals, should the state legitimise their status too?”
This caused a flurry of activity on the internet, with a Facebook group set up, attracting 1,935 members, which blasted Themistocleous as a chauvinist and homophobe. The LGBT intergroup published a letter to the deputy on their website on May 31, asking for him to withdraw his statement and apologise. The group accused Themistocleous of hate speech and “harmful comparisons”. It further noted that five EU member states have enacted same-sex marriage while 14 have laws allowing same-sex unions. “Yet none of these have seen a rise or a legitimisation of the crimes you mentioned,” said the open letter.
The DISY deputy responded with his own four-page letter saying he respected the fact that the MEPs who sent the letter “sympathised” with their “co-mates” but accused them of “rushing to interfere” by making their letter public “in an inadmissible and unethical manner”.
He argued that while they had the right to express their opinions, so did he, noting that their demand for an apology was “profoundly anti-democratic and offends the meaning of democracy itself”. He continued his argument saying that some of the countries which enacted either same-sex marriage or cohabitation agreements “then also granted them the right to adopt children, resulting today in the decriminalization of bestiality or the creation of a pederast party”.
Themistocleous, who is a member of the House human rights and institutions committees, further argued that no one has reported unfair treatment or discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in recent years in Cyprus.
The MP stated that his own party, DISY, has publicly positioned itself against same-sex marriage and cohabitation agreements and the adoption of children by homosexuals. However, a DISY announcement on May 18 makes clear that while the party is against enacting same-sex marriage and adoption of children by same-sex couples, it is ready to examine the issue of civil unions.
The LGBT Intergroup responded on July 8 with a letter posted on its website and tagged with the words “Cyprus” and “hate speech”. In it, they referred to his “populist” comment on decriminalising bestiality. “As fellow law-makers we can hardly think of a causal link between the legal status of same-sex couples and animal welfare legislation.”
On his claim that no there have been no recent reports of discrimination, they quoted data from the Ombudswoman’s Office “which reports that two complaints were received in 2007; two in 2008; four in 2009; and so far one in 2010. It can be assumed many more would have been recorded, had public figures—including politicians—not made harmful statements encouraging LGB people to stay silent.”
Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, Themistocleous said yesterday that the Ombudswoman’s reports were unfounded, and would only accept they had any validity if proved in the courts of the Republic.
“Who is the Ombudswoman? She has no power to say whether there has been a violation of the law.”

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sylviem
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interestingly for me.. is that even though the journalist seemed to have done some of the research... i.e .. regarding the facebook activity and the press releases etc.. there is no quote from an accept LGBT press officer here.  they didn't go the extra effort to get our input.  i maybe we should establish contact with stefano evripidou and suggest that should he need a comment in the future he may approach us.. 

Yoryis Regginos
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a very valid point indeed! And this is why the accept Press Committee is meeting on Thursday, to discuss issues like this one and many more. And thank you for your input!

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.-Chinese proverb