Greece is going to legalize same-sex marriag

The Greek government, with the support of the opposition, intends to legalize same-sex marriage

A plan to legalize same-sex civil marriage and adoption, put forward by Greece’s centre-right government, is set to be approved by parliament thanks to the support of the left-wing opposition, despite opposition from the Orthodox Church.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ plans to legalize same-sex marriage in the country and allow LGBTQ+ couples to adopt received decisive support from the left-wing opposition on Thursday.

Stefanos Kaselakis, a gay ex-banker who leads the radical left Syriza party, said he would instruct his 38 MPs to vote against the proposal, although he criticized the measure for not going far enough on parental rights.

Kaselakis, who married in New York in October 2023, has expressed her desire to have children via surrogate – a practice recently condemned by Pope Francis and made illegal in Italy.

The new measure proposed by Mitsotakis would prevent same-sex couples from having children through surrogacy in the future. Full parental rights will be granted to same-sex couples who already have children.

Currently, the country allows this procedure only for women – single or married – who cannot bear children due to health reasons. Adoption is allowed not only for heterosexual couples, but also for single men and women.

A previous bill proposed earlier this week would have allowed for parental rights through surrogate mothers.

In an interview with private channel Star TV, the politician said that despite “imperfections”, the proposal presented by the prime minister on Wednesday contained “some positive elements”.

Greece already legalized same-sex partnerships in 2015.

The opposition’s support ensures the law will be passed by the 300-seat parliament, even though a dozen MPs from Mitsotakis’s center-right New Democracy party oppose it. In total, there are 158 deputies from the party in the parliament.

Kaselakis criticized the prime minister for refusing to get all his lawmakers to support the human rights issue, calling it “political cowardice”. Just six months ago, Mitsotakis was re-elected for a second term in a landslide victory.

But the loudest criticism of the plan came from the country’s Orthodox Church, which still wields enormous influence in Greece, and warned that the law could be the first step towards dismantling Greek society. According to the church, allowing same-sex marriage is the first step towards taking away the parental rights of same-sex families.

But Mitsotakis hit back at the criticism, saying they would listen to the church but ultimately “the state creates the legislation”.

“What we are going to achieve is marriage equality, which means eliminating any discrimination based on sexual orientation,” he said in an interview with national broadcaster ERT. “It is not something radically different from what is used in other European countries.

The right-wing parties in the parliament are also against this measure.

Opinion polls show Greeks are evenly split on same-sex marriage but oppose extending full parental rights to gay or lesbian couples.

Full details of the government’s proposal are expected to be released in the coming days. Once this happens, it takes several weeks for approval in parliament.


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