Cyprus criticizes Orthodox bishop for insulting gays

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — An official says the Cyprus government is “greatly troubled and dismayed” by an Orthodox Christian bishop’s comments on homosexuality, which he said were needlessly stirring up social tensions on the Mediterranean island nation.

Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said Tuesday that Morphou Bishop Neophytos’ remarks clash with Cyprus’ laws protecting the rights of all its citizens. The bishop claimed that homosexuality is transferred to unborn children if a pregnant woman has anal sex, a comment that has no basis in science.

Prodromou said the bishop’s remarks “insult the dignity and injures the reputation” of many citizens and should be retracted. He said Cyprus’ human rights commissioner also considers the remarks discriminatory.

The bishop was speaking at a June lecture, citing what he said were an Orthodox saint’s views about homosexuality.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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