The Cypriot Cabinet Wednesday (6 April) approved a long-awaited civil partnership bill that would allow gay couples to register their relationships and grant them all marriage rights except joint adoption.
The legislation will now be sent to parliament, where it will be discussed and put to a vote.
Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos, who helped prepare the bill, said Cyprus was ready for same-sex unions.
‘I am certain that society is mature enough to accept it. Besides, this is what people are asking for through various groups and organisations, political parties, and society at large,’ he said.
‘As for the church, it has every right – which we recognise – to have its own objections or disagreements.’
ILGA-Europe said they expected that Cypriot parliamentarians would proceed with the bill without delay and support it.
‘We sincerely welcome today’s move by the Cypriot government. This bill was promised by politicians two years ago already and we call on to the parliament to support this important piece of legislation without delay,’ said Executive Director Evelyne Paradis.
Accept-LBGT Cyprus welcomed the Cabinet’s decision and urged parliamentary parties to work swiftly towards passing the legislation.
‘The government is living up to its promises, taking the first step towards modernising the state’s institutions,’ the group said a statement.