During a recent speech in the village of Akaki, on the island of Cyprus, the Bishop of Morphou Neophytos made some outrageous remarks about his theories on the origins of homosexuality. The bishop claimed that some people are born homosexual because a woman might have “unnatural” anal sex while she is pregnant, and this desire for anal sex is somehow passed down to the offspring as a result.
“It is a problem, which is usually transmitted by parents to the child,” the bishop said.
The bishop said that when a woman has anal sex, “A desire is created, which is then transmitted to the unborn child.”
“It happens during the parent’s intercourse or pregnancy. It follows an abnormal sexual act between the parents. To be more clear, anal sex. [Saint Porphyrios] says that when the woman likes that, a desire is born, and then the desire is passed on to the child,” he added.
Saint Porphyrios, the figure mentioned by the bishop, told gay people to stay single and pray for their sexuality to go away all their life. Porphyrios died in 1991, but unfortunately, many of his ideas have lived on.
His comments caused backlash across the world and have reignited the debate surrounding religion and homosexuality. There were also many jokes about the bishop and much ridicule thrown his way. Many commenters rightfully pointed out that this still doesn’t explain how women would end up being homosexuals, considering that their sexual orientation has nothing to do with anal sex.
The bishop and his organization are based out of Cyprus, which is still rather backward when it comes to LGBTQ issues. The laws in the country have only recently caught up with the rest of the world.
The island decriminalized homosexuality in 1998 and then in 2004 banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, the culture has not entirely caught up, especially among some religious fundamentalists. Same-sex adoption is still not legal in Cyprus and gay people are still banned from serving in the military.
In the Turkish-occupied region of Northern Cyprus, homosexuality was just recently decriminalized in 2014.