Queer Cyprus Association Visits ‘LGBTI+ Friendly Municipalities’.

Queer Cyprus Association held meetings with the mayors of three municipalities, who signed the LGBTI+ Friendly Municipality Protocol. These were Initiated by the association in 2018 to strengthen the collaboration with local governments, implement an egalitarian and libertarian, transparent and participatory local governance approach, and to protect and enhance the rights and freedoms of LGBTI+s (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and pluses).

Queer Cyprus Association visited the three mayors who have signed the ‘LGBTI+ Friendly Municipality Protocol’. Meetings were held with the Mayor of Famagusta, Süleyman Uluçay, the Mayor of Nicosia Turkish Municipality, Mehmet Harmancı, and the Mayor of Lefke, Aziz Kaya, along with relevant department heads. Within the scope of these meetings, important discussions took place regarding support for LGBTI+ rights and commitments to collaboration. The meetings discussed the steps to implement collaborations and commitments outlined in the LGBTI+ Friendly Municipality Protocol.

Municipal mayors emphasised the necessity of this protocol, which aims to ensure that LGBTI+s can live equally and fairly within societies without facing discrimination. The Queer Cyprus Association highlighted that the LGBTI+ Friendly Municipality Protocol is an important step towards implementing an egalitarian, inclusive, transparent, and participatory local governance approach, and towards safeguarding and enhancing the rights and freedoms of LGBTI+s. Furthermore, Queer Cyprus Association emphasised that the support provided by municipal mayors in signing this protocol to promote respect for societal diversity and equality will have a positive impact across the island.

“LGBTI+s face barriers to accessing services.”

In a statement issued by the Queer Cyprus Association, it was emphasised that LGBTI+s are systematically subjected to exclusion, oppression, and violence from their families and society. Furthermore, research carried out by Queer Cyprus has highlighted deficiencies in accessing services, service quality, and long-term effectiveness provided by public and local authorities to address these issues. The importance of collaboration with local governments for solving these problems was emphasized, underlining the necessity of solution-oriented and systematic efforts. It was noted that the concrete steps taken by the three municipalities that have signed the protocol in addressing these issues are a positive development.

“A more just, inclusive, and equal society.”

Within the framework of the roadmap set during the meeting, discussions revolved around the initiatives and activities that municipalities will undertake to become more sensitive to the needs of LGBTI+s. Concrete steps were also discussed to enhance the visibility of LGBTI+ individuals in public spaces. The three municipalities that have signed and reiterated their commitment to the LGBTI+ Friendly Municipality Protocol set an example for all administrations in terms of the governance approach needed for upholding LGBTI+ rights. As the Queer Cyprus Association, we are pleased to witness these positive steps towards protecting LGBTI+ rights and promoting equality and respect for human rights. Such initiatives that encourage social diversity and tolerance will contribute to Cyprus’ journey toward becoming a fairer, more inclusive, and equal society.

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