Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

In a historic win for the LGBTQ+ world community, Greece has legalized same-sex marriage, becoming the first Orthodox Christian country to do so. 

According to AP, last week, a cross-party majority of 176 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament voted in favor of the bill which was drafted by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his center-right government. Around 76 lawmakers rejected the bill, two declined to vote and 46 were not present. 

Ahead of the vote the prime minister told parliament, “people who have been invisible will finally be made visible around us, and with them, many children will finally find their rightful place.” 

LGBTQ+ organizations like same-sex parents’ group, Rainbow Families, are celebrating the win. Stella Belia, head of Rainbow Families, told Reuters, “This is a historic moment…this is a day of joy.” 

With the vote, Greece becomes the 16th country in the European Union to legalize marriage equality, and the only southeastern European country to do so.

Reuters reports that opinion polls show the Greek public is split on marriage equality. “The powerful Orthodox Church, which believes homosexuality is a sin, has strongly opposed same-sex marriage, while many in the LGBT community believe the bill does not go far enough.” 

Even following the vote, LGBTQ couples in Greece will still be unable to use assisted reproduction methods, surrogacy pregnancies, or have access to other rights allotted to heterosexual couples. 

In the past decade, Greece has taken small steps toward LGBTQ+ inclusivity. In 2015, the year same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S, Greece began to allow civil partnerships between same-sex couples. In 2017, gender identity became legally recognized. In 2022, conversion therapy for minors based on sexual orientation was banned. And though this decision is monumental for Greece’s LGBTQ+ community, there is still room to grow.

According to AP, Spiros Bibilas, a left-wing openly gay lawmaker, said “This law doesn’t solve every problem, but it is a beginning.”

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