CYPRUS: Civil Unions Bill Advances
The Cypriot Cabinet Wednesday 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. ILGA-Europe said they expected that Cypriot parliamentarians would proceed with the bill without delay and support it.RELATED: Cyprus is part of the European Union, which currently has 28 members. Same-sex marriage is legal in eleven of them: Belgium, Denmark, Finland (effective 2017), France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia (effective date pending), Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland). Civil unions are legal in nine EU nations: Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia (effective 2016), Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Malta. No partnership recognitions exist in eight EU nations: Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.