A bishop has claimed homosexuality exists because it is transferred to a foetus when a pregnant woman has and enjoys anal sex.
The Bishop of Morphou Neophytos made the comments during a speech in June to a select group of people in Akaki, LGBTI rights group ACCEPT said yesterday (July 25).
During his speech, the bishop said Saint Porphyrios – an Athonite hieromonk known for his gifts of spiritual discernment – made mention of the issue in his writings.
You can watch his speech below:
As reported by Cyprus Mail, the bishop said: ‘It is a problem, which is usually transmitted by parents to the child’.
He added that this ‘transfer’ of homosexuality occurs when a couple has sex while the woman is pregnant, and the sex is ‘unnatural’ – as he characterised anal sex.
The bishop said that when the woman enjoys anal sex:
A desire is created, which is then transmitted to the unborn child.
The video has since been posted on social media, after which it went viral with many criticising the bishop for his comments. LGBTI rights group ACCEPT referenced his comments before jokingly – and the more I think about it, rightfully – asking: ‘How are lesbians created?’
The bishop’s comments reflect the general attitudes members of the LGBTQ+ community face each day in the British/Cypriot community.
In research published in the Parikiaki newspaper, an English language newspaper for the Greek community in England, Andreas Pavlou found three quarters (75 per cent) of those polled and who identified as LGBTQ+ said the Cypriot community where they lived was discriminatory and unwelcoming. A further 53 per cent of heterosexual Cypriots polled thought the same.
Some people who identified as straight referred to the community as ‘judgmental’, ‘conservative’, ‘very homophobic’ and with a ‘religion-based dislike of LGBTQ+’, while other heterosexual people thought the community’s attitude towards LGBTQ+ Cypriots was ‘accepting’.
However, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer members of the community described ‘overwhelmingly negative’ perceptions of the attitudes they faced, using words such as ‘traditional’, ‘close-minded’ and ‘hostile’.
Several people noted that religion had a big impact on attitudes, while others said if they were ‘out’ their family would ‘worry about the gossip of the community’.
Sadly, such attitudes towards homosexuality continue to rear their heads – particularly in religious communities – with one bishop last month telling his congregation not to support or attend LGBT Pride Month events because they are ‘harmful for children’.
At a time when homophobia is still so prevalent in society, it’s important to look out for each other and do anything we can to prevent such comments as this bishop’s becoming the norm.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and need a safe space to turn to, you can visit the LGBTQ+ UK Cypriots page.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 6pm Saturday, Or email [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).