"Initiative Against Homophobia takes steps to become a recognised association

Submitted by Initiative Against Homophobia

Initiative Against Homophobia, which has been active since September 2007 has applied to become a fully established and recognised association.

On Thursday 15 May, as part of the activities to mark the 17 May "International Day Against Homophobia (IDAH)" and with the aim to call attention to the problems faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people living in the Cyprus northern, the Initiative Against Homophobia has applied to the local authorities in Nicosia to become a fully established and recognised association.

Initiative Against Homophobia has declared as their main objective the repelling of the actual law regarding homosexuality, which criminalizes homosexuality as an act against nature punishable with up to 5 years' prison sentence. It was also added that their aims include raising awareness on homosexuality, calling attention to the problems faced by homosexuals and to counteract/prevent the effects of homophobia.

In this declaration, it is acknowledged that since the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental and behavioural disorders on May 17, 1990, this date is recorded around the world as the IDAH and celebrated as a day of resistance and activity against all physical, moral and symbolic violence referring to sexual identity or orientation. Nevertheless, it is pointed out that in over 80 countries including TRNC, homosexuality is still criminalized and punishable with prison sentences.

The homosexual individuals in our society continue to be subjected to violence and blackmail, but because of the existing law, are unable to complain to the authorities and otherwise seeking protection, become themselves criminalized. Therefore, it is compelling to abrogate the section 154 of The Criminal Law "Crimes Against Nature" points 171, 172 and 173, which stems from colonial times and to adopt a new law corresponding to today's standards. Initiative Against Homophobia has met with the president of the parliament Fatma Ekeno─člu and presented her with the proposal to change the law.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have to hide themselves because of the homophobic attitudes and behaviour they face in all areas of their lives, therefore "Not only heterosexuals live in this society. We also exist!" is the first motto of the Initiative Against Homophobia.

Finally, Initiative Against Homophobia noted that "International Day Against Homophobia" aims to promote the pride that one should feel about their sexuality and reject the shame, as homophobia is an illness and not the homosexuality.

Initiative Against Homophobia, in the context of "International Day Against Homophobia" realised following activities:

Participation of a delegation to the 3rd International Meeting Against Homophobia organised by Kaos GL Association on 12-19 May in Ankara, Turkey.

http://www.homofobiyekarsiinisiyatif.org/ was launched as the official web site to host information on Initiative Against Homophobia and LGBT issues.

Members of the group distributed leaflets to raise awareness of the LGBT issues and promote the change of the law in the streets of Nicosia.

Initiative Against Homophobia

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