Words: Steve Brown
A religious leader claimed people are gay because their mother’s had anal sex while pregnant has been cleared of any hate crime charges.
The Bishop of Morphou Neophytos was giving a speech in Akaki, Cyprus, and reportedly accused pregnant women of passing the desire to have anal sex onto their children.
Cyprus Attorney, General Costas Clerides, ordered a police probe into his comments after the LGBTI Accept movement reported him for hate speech.
However, now Clerides has reportedly agreed with police findings claiming the bishop did not commit an offence under the hate speech law, the Financially Mirror reported.
In a statement, Clerides said: “Although the Bishop’s individual references are worthy of criticism and possibly disagreement, the whole context of his statements and the explanations he gave on the actual meaning of words and phrases, which he used to refer to the positions of the Church.
“They do not equate with an attempt to incite violence or hatred because of sexual orientation or gender identity, nor can they be described as hate speech within the meaning of the law.”
The attorney argued the remarks were made in the context of an open dialogue on spirituality where he was asked questions from the public.
However, the island’s top law officer said spiritual leaders like him ‘should avoid clumsy and unintelligible expressions’.