Greece allows same-sex marriage

Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox country to allow civil marriage for same-sex couples after 176 of the 300 members of parliament voted in favour of a law proposed by Kyriakos Mitsotakis' conservative government on Thursday. The law faced fierce opposition from the Church.

Open/close all quotes
Efimerida ton Syntakton (GR) /

A necessary step

The LGBT community is finally becoming visible in Greece, notes Efimerida ton Syntakton:

“A lot can be said about the intentions of the government, which has taken this legislative initiative while the rule of law is being put to the test on many levels and social rights are being dismantled. ... But even a conservative government could no longer avoid this necessary step. The Greek state law, which was supported by a broad parliamentary majority, socially isolates the far right, the hardliners of orthodoxy and homophobes of all colours, makes the LGBT community more visible, strengthens its members and educates society in matters of integration and respect.”

SLpress (GR) /

Most citizens are against it

The new law has little support among the majority of Greek society, news website SLpress stresses:

“Without the suffocating pressure from the party leaders, the law would not have been passed. So there's a discrepancy between the social majority and its political representation as well as the balance of power in parliament. How strong is the lobby that wanted the law to be passed? ... The counter-argument put forward is that human rights issues do not have to be approved by the majority, otherwise there would still be racial discrimination in many countries. However, same-sex marriage and the resulting birth of children is not a recognised human right, which is why it is not included in the list of the relevant European convention.”

News247 (GR) /

Other things to worry about

News247 is annoyed that quite a few MPs from the ruling Nea Dimokratia (ND) party voted against the law:

“These government MPs should answer a question: does same-sex marriage really pose a threat to the vast majority of Greeks? ... Or are they more threatened by the financial insecurity that is destroying incomes like a tsunami month after month and driving our poorer citizens to despair? If the latter is the case, these MPs should demand that the prime minister and his cabinet stop all their fine words and analyses and take effective action instead.”

Liberal (GR) /

Gradual and educational change

The website Liberal welcomes the new law:

“Societies, including Greece's, are changing. Change often happens slowly. This may be agonising for those who are in a hurry and expect things to happen at a dizzying pace. But it is also educational, because every time major, radical change has been attempted without first consulting the different social groups it has led to tragedy. ... It goes without saying that all this won't happen without provoking reactions and resistance. ... Yesterday was a day when Greece took a big, important and significant step towards equal rights for all citizens.”