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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 13, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 37
Anal sex bishop in the clear, Cypriot attorney general says
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Anal sex bishop in the clear, Cypriot attorney general says

Remarks were 'incautious' but not illegal

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Bishop Neophytos of Morphou, Cyprus - the Greek Orthodox cleric who asserted that people become Gay because their mothers enjoy anal sex - did not commit a crime, the attorney general of Cyprus has ruled.

According to the Associated Press, Cypriot Attorney General Costas Clerides has issued a report saying that the bishop's remarks merited criticism but did not incite violence or hatred and did not constitute hate speech.

Because Cyprus is a member of the European Union (EU), its laws include bans on hate speech and incitement targeting minority groups, including LGBT persons. After Neophytos's statement was spread in the press and social media, Clerides's office launched an investigation to determine whether to prosecute him.

The Cypriot government and human rights groups condemned the bishop's remarks. The Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus has not made a formal comment, although individual bishops voiced disapproval of their colleague's views.

In an official statement, Attorney General Clerides said spiritual leaders should avoid 'incautious and ill-prepared' remarks.

Neophytos justified his beliefs about the origin of Gay people by referring to the writings of Saint Porphyrios, a Cypriot monk who died in 1991. Porphyrios was an ardent advocate of the 'pray the Gay away' school of thought.

Cyprus decriminalized homosexuality in 1998, passed LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination laws in 2004, and legalized same-sex civil unions in 2015.

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