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Greece legalises same-sex marriage and adoption

Katie Boyden Published Feb 15, 2024, 9:57pm|Updated Feb 15, 2024, 10:11pm

LGBTQ+ activists and supporters cheered and embraced when the legislation passed (Picture: REUTERS)

Greece has ‘abolished a serious inequality’ after voting to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption.

The vote, which needed a simple majority to pass through the country’s parliament, means Greece is the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage in a huge win for the LGBTQ+ community.

Proposals for the legislation divided the country, with fierce resistance from the Greek Orthodox Church.

Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would ‘boldly abolish a serious inequality’, adding: ‘People who have been invisible will finally be made visible around us, and with them, many children will finally find their rightful place.

‘The reform makes the lives of several of our fellow citizens better, without taking away anything from the lives of the many.

‘Both parents of same-sex couples do not yet have the same legal opportunities to provide their children with what they need.

Opinion polls suggest most Greeks support the reform (Picture: Nicolas Koutsokostas/Shutterstoc)

Counter-protests were also held (Picture: Nicolas Koutsokostas/Shutterstoc)

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the bill ‘makes the lives of several of our fellow citizens better'(Picture: REUTERS)

‘To be able to pick them up from school, to be able to travel, to go to the doctor, or take them to the hospital. That is what we are fixing.’

Mr Mitsotakis needed the support of opposition parties to get the legislation passed, as dozens of MPs from his own party opposed the move.

Greece becomes the 15th of the EU’s 27 members to legalise same-sex marriage, which is permitted in 35 countries worldwide.

Of the 300 members of the Greek parliament, 176 voted in favour of the bill, with 76 voting against, two abstentions and 46 not present for the vote.

The new law recognises parental rights for same-sex couples, but won’t allow gay men to acquire biological children through surrogate mothers.

Same-sex civil partnerships have been allowed in Greece since 2015 – but that only conferred legal guardianship to the biological parents of children in those relationships, leaving their partners in a bureaucratic limbo.

Opinion polls suggested most Greeks support the reform.

Supporters waving LGBTQ+ Pride flags and banners, and protesters holding religious icons and praying, held separate gatherings outside parliament on Thursday evening.

Far-right lawmaker Vassilis Stigas, head of the small Spartans party, described the legislation Thursday as ‘sick’ and claimed that its adoption would ‘open the gates of Hell and perversion’.

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