[JURIST] Greece’s Ministry of Justice [official website, in Greek] on Wednesday unveiled plans to introduce legislation [materials, in Greek] giving civil union rights to same-sex [JURIST backgrounder] couples. This marks the first time in the country’s history that such legislation will be introduced. The bill will give rights to go along with the civil unions such as insurance, taxation, inheritance and other rights enjoyed by married Greek citizens. However, such couples will not be allowed to jointly adopt children. The bill is expected to pass without much resistance, as Greece’s liberal political party, Syriza [Guardian report], holds the majority in the parliament. A vote is expected to take place in July.
Same-sex couples have varied marriage rights throughout the world. In May the Parliament of Greenland voted [JURIST report] to enact laws that will legalize same-sex marriage and allow for same-sex couples to participate in adoption. Also in May Ireland became the first country to legalize [JURIST report] same-sex marriage by national referendum. In January the US Supreme Court agreed to rule on same-sex marriage, granting certiorari in four separate cases, and heard arguments [JURIST reports] in late April. A decision is expected by the end of June. In August Ugandan Attorney General Peter Nyomb filed [JURIST report] an appeal against the constitutional court ruling that struck down the nation’s anti-homosexuality law. Last January the Nigerian president signed [JURIST report] the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act into law, banning same-sex marriage and criminalizing same-sex relationships.