Turkish court refuses to ban Gay rights groups
Says gays are free to found associations
A Turkish court Friday rejected a demand to ban a group campaigning for gay rights, marking another victory for the fledgling movement in the mainly Muslim country, Anatolia new agency reported.
"Homosexuals are free to found associations like all other people," judge Mursel Ermis said as he announced the ruling at a court in the western city of Izmir, Anatolia reported.
The dissolution of the association, Siyah Pembe Ucgen (Black Pink Triangle), was sought by the Izmir governor's office on grounds its statute was in breach of "Turkish family structure and general morality."
Turkey's two leading homosexual groups have been targeted in similar cases initiated by government authorities.
Last year, the Appeals Court quashed a ruling to dissolve Lambda Istanbul, and in 2005 prosecutors threw out an application to outlaw the Ankara-based KAOS-GL.
Same-sex relationships have never been criminalized in EU-hopeful Turkey as elsewhere in the Muslim world, but there are no laws protecting homosexual rights and prejudice against gays and lesbians remains strong in daily life.
Family affairs minister Selma Aliye Kavaf sparked a wave of criticism in March when she described homosexuality as a "biological disorder, a disease" that should be cured.
Homosexuals are free to found associations like all other people
judge Mursel Ermis