Application made to Constitutional Court to remove ‘unnatural act’ definition of homosexuality
People take pictures during the Gay Parade march in Istanbul on June 29. AA PhotoA judge in the western province of Aydın has applied to the Constitutional Court to remove the definition of homosexuality as an “unnatural relationship” from an article of the Turkish Penal code, daily Milliyet reported July 8.
If the top court rules in favor for the applicant, the legal description of “homosexual acts” as “unnatural” will be held as unconstitutional, in what would become a landmark decision.
According to the report, a judge in the Aydın 3rd Penal Court of First Instance filed the application over a trial involving the sale of gay pornographic material.
The defendants’ lawyers pleaded that Article 226 of the penal code, stipulating jail terms between one and four years for the distribution of images “involving unnatural sexual acts,” was unconstitutional. They said the article puts homosexuality in the same category as necrophilia, zooerasty and rape.
The application has been accepted by the Constitutional Court after an initial examination.
Homosexuality has never legally been banned in Turkey, although many discriminating pieces of legislation have criminalized homosexual acts. The latest application comes as many LGBT NGOs seek the recognition of sexual orientation and sexual identity in the Constitution.