Justice Minister condemns LGBT rights abuses

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Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis has condemned discrimination, hate speech, violence against those due to sexual orientation and gender identity in marking International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

She assured her continued support for every policy and action aiming to fight discrimination due to sexual orientation, gender identities, or sex characteristics.

In a written statement, she said efforts are made at the international, European and national level to secure and promote the rights of LGBT people.

“We uphold the right of everyone to freedom of expression, security, self-determination and equal treatment.

“Respecting and promoting LGBT rights and eliminating every kind of discrimination against the LGBT community is a priority and fundamental element of our policies and actions at all levels.

“Any discrimination or exclusion of any discrimination against members of the LGBT community is an insult to human dignity, human rights and are directed against the rule of law and democratic culture.”

Yiolitis said Cyprus had taken important steps to fight discrimination, lift injustices and discrimination against LGBT members, and protect and safeguard all citizens’ human rights at a legislative and institutional level.

She said examples were civil partnerships, criminalisation of homophobic and transphobic speech, and stricter sentences for criminal acts committed with a homophobic and transphobic motive.

“All these show determination to strengthen equality and fight every type of violence against the LGBT community.

“I believe that diversity is not a threat but instead enriches our society.”