Homosexuals press for rights in Turkey’s new constitution

Homosexuals press for rights in Turkey’s new constitution

Göksel Bozkurt ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Homosexuals press for rights in Turkey’s new constitution

This file photo shows a group of gay rights activists during a demonstration to protest hate crimes against homosexuals. AA photo

A civic group advocating homosexual rights has submitted a written presentation to Parliament’s constitution-making commission, calling for explicit provisions to protect homosexuals against violence and discrimination.

Sources at the Constitution Conciliation Commission said the proposals had been officially accepted for evaluation.

The Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPOD) stressed the EU and North American countries acknowledged discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities as a violation of human rights and urged the commission to follow suit when drafting the new charter.

Stressing homosexuals were frequently victims of violence and murder, SPOD said the new constitution should before all guarantee their right to life and explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation” and “sexual identity.”

References to “general morality,” propriety” and “public order” should be removed from the constitution because they are used as a basis for discriminatory moves targeting the LGBT community, the group said.

It stressed the new charter must also protect privacy by guaranteeing a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity are not revealed without their consent.

The LGBT community, women and people with disabilities should benefit from positive discrimination and be treated as equal citizens, not as people under protection, it said.

The SPOD also stressed Turkey should remain a secular, democratic and social state of law, while guaranteeing equal treatment to all faiths.