Athens passes law easing access to sex change

The Greek parliament has passed a law on gender identity by a narrow margin. Under the new legislation anyone over the age of 15 can undergo sex-change procedures. This last point in particular provoked fierce opposition from the Greek Orthodox Church and other sections of society. But journalists are delighted at the result.

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Efimerida ton Syntakton (GR) /

A symbolically significant victory for the left

Finally the Greek government has been able to show once more that it does make a difference whether those in power are on the right or on the left, Efimerida ton Syntakton comments:

“For the members of the LGBT community this is a huge victory after years of injustice, one that gives them hope for a better future. ... For the first time in ages it was once again apparent that - despite the austerity memoranda - there is a difference between the left and the right, and that it makes a difference when the left is in power. The fact that the prime minister took such a prickly issue to heart prompted many people to identify with his appeals in parliament even though they had broken their ties with him in 2015 [over his stance after the austerity referendum].”

Politis (CY) /

Painstaking progress

The draft law is a big step forward for Greek society in general and transgender people in particular, Politis writes enthusiastically:

“In 2016 alone the deaths of 2,116 transgender people were registered as murders. But those statistics don't include suicides - often by minors - or the many cases that were recorded as normal crimes that didn't specifically target transgender people. ... The draft law passed in the Greek parliament by a slim majority offers these people the chance of protection against racism, rejection and persecution. ... It was a big day for Greece. Light won out over darkness, even though the victory was narrow and subject to restrictions. Nevertheless that's how humanity progresses: with small and painstaking steps.” (GR) /

Puritanical media undermining progress

The debate about the draft law is being conducted unfairly, Protagon believes:

“We've heard priests making comments on the topic, but no one with a personal interest in the new law. This initiative will make life easier for some of our fellow citizens. ... But the attitude of the mass media, their ignorance and puritanical deceitfulness, only serve to undermine it. The draft law will be passed with the support of part of the opposition. That will be a hard-earned political success, even if it was only supposed to be debated for a short time in parliament.”

Proto Thema (GR) /

Politics at the expense of tormented teenagers

The draft law is irresponsible and could have a deleterious impact on the mental health of youths, Proto Thema warns:

“Because as scientists point out, these tormented teenagers experience huge problems adjusting particularly in the initial phase after an attempted sex change. Not to mention the reputable scientific opinions explaining that a complete sex change is impossible and that science can't change nature and the original DNA.”