Greece becomes first Orthodox Christian nation to legalize same-sex marriage despite opposition of church

Greece became the first Orthodox Christian country to legalize same-sex civil marriage on Thursday despite opposition from the Church of Greece.

A majority 176 of 300 parliamentarian lawmakers voted in favor of the bill proposed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' center-right government, AP News reports.

Mitsotakis posted to X that Greece “is proud to become the 16th (European Union) country to legislate marriage equality.”

“This is a milestone for human rights, reflecting today’s Greece — a progressive, and democratic country, passionately committed to European values,” he wrote.

The bill grants full parental rights to same-sex married couples with children but stops short of allowing gay couples to have a child through surrogacy, which LGBTQ+ rights advocates have criticized.

Polls in Greece have indicated that most citizens agree to same-sex marriages by a small margin but reject parenthood through surrogacy for male couples. They have also suggested Greeks are far more concerned with the high cost of living in the country. 

The Church of Greece strongly opposed the bill, as it disapproves of same-sex marriage and fears the passing of the bill could open the gates to eventually granting surrogacy rights to gay couples.

The bill was backed by 4 left-wing parties and rejected by 3 right-wing parties at the start of the 2-day debate.

Former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras from ND’s conservative wing stated to parliament: “Same-sex marriage is not a human right … and it’s not an international obligation for our country ... Children have a right to have parents from both sexes.”

Citizens who opposed the bill protested outside parliament holding prayer books as the decision was made alongside those in favor of the bill cheering and celebrating in a sea of pride flags.
 

Image: Title: greece same sex marriage
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