The Archbishop stated that governments demonstrated “weakening moral integrity” by ensuring equal rights, for example through civil partnerships or equal marriage.
Cyprus’ government plans to submit a civil partnership bill to the House of Representatives for discussion in April.
Local LGBT organisation ACCEPT condemned the Archbishop’s words by stating that “excommunication and alienation is not the right way to promote the message of God.”
Aligning himself with the position of ACCEPT, Cypriot Member of the LGBT Intergroup Andreas Pitsillides MEP, reacted: “For the umpteenth time I publicly condemn as a human, as a theologian and mainly as a Member of the European Parliament the racist and homophobic statements made by the Archbishop of Cyprus.”
“I emphatically stress these are clearly against the spirit of the Gospel of love of Christ and certainly violate all European and international treaties protecting human rights against any form of discrimination based on race, gender, religion and sexual orientation.”
Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, added: “The statements by the Archbishop are a reminder that opponents of equality are still there, yet also show how far Cyprus’ Orthodox Church is detached from reality. A recent survey found that a majority of Cypriot citizens is in favour of civil partnership legislation.”
“This government is doing the right thing by continuing on the road to equal rights for everyone.”