Charter panel skips article on ‘equality’
ANKARAParliament’s constitution-making commission has postponed the writing of the article on “equality” after disagreements arose on protection for homosexuals and banning discrimination on the basis of “ethnic origin,” the Hürriyet Daily News has learned.
The cross-party panel proceeded yesterday to discuss an article on “the right to live” under the chapter of fundamental rights and freedoms.
The writing of the “equality” article ground to a halt when the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) insisted on an explicit reference to “sexual orientation” and “ethnic origin” as identities that should be protected from discrimination. Members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) argued that the inclusion of the “sexual orientation” clause, which aims to ensure constitutional protection for homosexuals, could mislead people to believe that protection is granted to “perversion” and discredit the would-be new charter.
Commission members agreed to draw up alternative proposals to iron out their differences and discuss them when the panel comes back to the contentious issue later. The commission, which started drafting the new charter on May 1, has reached an agreement on the wording of only two articles so far.