NewsGreece legalizes same-sex marriage, becoming the first Orthodox Christian country to do so

Greece legalizes same-sex marriage, becoming the first Orthodox Christian country to do so

Greece legalizes same-sex marriage, becoming the first Orthodox Christian country to do so
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7:26 AM EST, February 16, 2024

On Thursday, 176 parliamentarians from all political sides voted in favor of the bill, demonstrating an uncommon occurrence of parliamentary consensus. Conversely, 76 members voted against the reform, two abstained, and 46 were absent. Through this bill, same-sex couples will gain legal rights to marry and receive full parental rights, including the capability to adopt children.

The legislative vote followed two days of intensive debate, weeks of widespread public discussion, and years of anticipation from the LGBT+ community. Despite significant opposition from his center-right party, New Democracy, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis supported the bill, stating that it would rectify "a serious inequality in our democracy."

During a passionate speech before the vote, the 55-year-old leader said that this decision would align Greece with 36 other countries worldwide that have already approved similar legislation. According to him, conservatism should not be confused with obsolete perspectives that are out of sync with contemporary society.

"The reform we are implementing today [...] will improve the lives of some of our citizens significantly, without - and I stress this - detracting anything from many people's lives," Mitsotakis declared.

The Orthodox Church criticized the move as "antisocial" and "unchristian." Earlier this month, during morning services across the country, a letter from the Greek Church was read, expressing its opposition to this legislation. The letter condemned what it perceives as a move that "promotes the removal of traditional parenthood... and prioritizes the sexual choices of adult homosexuals over the interests of a child's future."

Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus was among the most vocal opponents. He recently announced his intention to ban MPs who support the bill from his church, even suggesting it would have been better if they had not been born.

In addition, he stated that he would decline to baptize the children of same-sex couples, with the justification that this would "help them understand that what their guardians are doing is considered a sin."

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