Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriages: Historic LGBTQ Rights Advance

Image of a protest sign against a new Republican-backed bill for transgender youth, contrasting with the historic advancement of LGBTQ rights in Greece legalizing same-sex marriages
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriages: Historic LGBTQ Rights Advance

In a landmark decision, the Hellenic Parliament of Greece has passed legislation to legalize same-sex civil marriages, marking a significant step forward for LGBTQ rights in the country. This historic move makes Greece the first constitutionally Christian Orthodox-majority nation to grant equal marital rights to LGBTQ couples.

Key Provisions:

The newly enacted law ensures that same-sex couples can marry under Greek family law with the same rights as heterosexual couples. Additionally, it grants LGBTQ couples the legal right to adopt children, a groundbreaking advancement for a predominantly Orthodox country.

Political Support and Opposition:

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis led the initiative, facing opposition from influential quarters such as the Greek Orthodox Church and conservative factions. Despite resistance, the bill garnered support from a majority of lawmakers, including progressive opposition members, securing its passage.

Societal Divisiveness:

The legislation sparked heated debate across Greek society, with liberal groups welcoming the move while Orthodox hardliners vehemently protested, advocating for the preservation of traditional marriage norms.

Recent Developments in Greece:

This development builds upon previous strides in LGBTQ rights, including the legalization of civil partnerships in 2015 and legal recognition of gender identity in 2017. Notably, Greece also banned conversion therapy aimed at minors two years ago.

Status Among European Nations:

With this law, Greece joins 15 other European Union members in legalizing same-sex marriages, aligning with civil liberty ideals. Moreover, Greece stands as the first nation in South-Eastern Europe to take this progressive step, where societal attitudes toward same-sex unions remain conservative.

Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages and Unions in Europe:

As of February 2024, a total of 21 European countries recognize and perform same-sex marriages, while others offer some form of civil union or contractual cohabitation. However, several countries still define marriage strictly as between a man and a woman in their constitutions, despite allowing civil unions for same-sex couples.

By embracing marriage equality, Greece not only upholds fundamental human rights but also sets an example for its region and beyond, fostering inclusivity and diversity within its society.

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