Orthodox Greece legalizes same-sex marriage Despite church opposition

Greece become the world's first Christian Orthodox nation to legalise same-sex marriage

Greece is the first country in the Orthodox Christian world to recognize same-sex marriage. Greece’s parliament has adopted legislation legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption, establishing the country as a pathfinder in the Orthodox Christian world.

The historic change, championed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his New Democracy party, received overwhelming approval with 176 votes out of 245 MPs present.

The historic decision, which makes Greece the 37th country internationally and the first Orthodox Christian nation to approve same-sex adoption, is a big step forward for human rights. Prime Minister Mitsotakis praised the development as a “milestone for human rights,” highlighting Greece’s dedication to progressive principles.

Despite strong resistance from the powerful Orthodox Church, which proclaimed itself “totally opposed” to the change, the law had bipartisan support, including backing from the main opposition Marxist Syriza party and various minor parties. Archbishop Ieronymos, the leader of the Church, slammed the measure as an attempt to impose a “new reality” that jeopardizes the country’s social unity.

The celebration outside the parliament building in central Athens, where rainbow flags flew triumphantly, marked the end of a two-day discussion. LGBTQ organizations praised the action, which addresses long-standing administrative hurdles encountered by same-sex families under current family rules.

The reform tackles significant concerns such as the lack of decision-making rights for non-biological parents in medical treatments and the automatic denial of inheritance rights to children of same-sex couples. Mitsotakis called on legislators to “boldly abolish a serious inequality” that has made same-sex families “invisible” in Greek culture.

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Stefanos Kasselakis, the radical Syriza party’s leader and an openly homosexual man, was instrumental in advancing the measure. His personal experience demonstrated the need to recognize and address the problems that LGBTQ families confront.

Rainbow Families Greece, an NGO that supports LGBTQ families, proclaimed “This is a day of joy,” seeing the change as part of a larger cultural trend toward tolerance. Opinion surveys show broad support for same-sex marriage, making Greece’s progress toward recognizing LGBTQ rights a model for other conservative cultures.

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