07:48 | 26th April 2019

News: World

Fri 16 Apr, 2010
By Danielle Carter

I believe homosexuality is a biological disorder.

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Gay activist protests Turkish minister

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A handful of activists interrupted a meeting on gender equality Thursday, demanding that a Turkish official apologize for saying recently that homosexuality is a disease.

The minister, Aliye Kavaf, was giving a speech when the demonstrators began shouting slogans, asking her to apologize for last month's remark.

Homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, but gay people say they lack legal protections and face stigmatization in the Muslim nation. Gay rights groups have been calling on the government to amend the criminal code to state clearly that discrimination on basis of sexual orientation, as well as gender identity, is a crime.

Kavaf ignored the protesters and went on with her speech as cameras turned toward the demonstrators who held banners reading: "Don't hate, apologize."

Moments later, men in dark suits covered the mouths of the protesters and dragged them out of the hall.

"I believe homosexuality is a biological disorder," Kavaf had said in March. "I think it is a disease that needs treatment."

Similar remarks by a doctor who claimed that he could treat homosexuality drew the ire of gay rights groups in January.

Turkey's government has implemented broad reforms in its bid to join the European Union but remains heavily influenced by conservative and religious values.

Source: Associated Press


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