Greece legalizes same-sex marriage News
Astrobobo / Pixabay
Greece legalizes same-sex marriage

The Greek Parliament voted on Thursday to legalize same-sex civil marriage. The legislation passed with a majority of 176 votes in favor out of 300 members of the Hellenic Parliament.

Key provisions of the approved legislation include the recognition of same-sex marriages, amending the civil code to allow marriage regardless of gender, establishing equal surname rights for children, and adapting labor, social insurance and civil service laws to extend benefits to same-sex spouses and parents. It also ensures protections against discrimination in various sectors including social protection, education, and access to goods and services. In addition, the legislation recognizes same-sex marriages and parental relationships established abroad, subject to certain conditions.

The bill, proposed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ center-right government, saw 76 votes against, two members voting “present,” and 46 abstentions. The bill garnered support from four left-wing parties, including the principal opposition, Syriza, while facing rejection from three small far-right parties and the Communist Party.

Before the bill’s passage, the Church of Greece articulated its concerns through a detailed letter to Parliament. The church criticized the shift towards gender-neutral parenting roles and contended that civil unions already provided sufficient rights for same-sex couples, questioning the necessity of same-sex marriage and parenting rights.

International celebration of the bill’s passage, however, was swift. The UN Human Rights Office wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “We welcome Parliament’s vote to open marriage to same-sex couples. It is a landmark win for human rights, & a big step forward towards #LGBTQ+ equality.” One supporter of the bill interviewed by the AFP stated, “It’s a historic day. We are so very happy with this result, we’ve been waiting for it for a very long time.”

Following Thursday’s vote, Greece is the 16th country in the 27-member European Union to legalize same-sex marriage.