Home » Greece, yes to the law on gay marriage and adoption rights. The conservative prime minister: “Milestone, the invisible become visible”

Greece, yes to the law on gay marriage and adoption rights. The conservative prime minister: “Milestone, the invisible become visible”

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Greece, yes to the law on gay marriage and adoption rights.  The conservative prime minister: “Milestone, the invisible become visible”

The Greece takes a historic step in the recognition of civil rights and becomes the first country with a Christian-Orthodox majority and the 37th country in the world to legalize adoption by same-sex couples. For the Conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis it is “a milestone for human rights, reflecting today’s Greece: one country progressist and democratic, passionately committed to European values”. Polls show that the majority of Greeks, albeit by a narrow margin, support the proposed reform.

The bill legalizing the civil marriage for homosexual couples and it recognizes the right to adoption it was approved with 176 votes in favor and 76 against: in total, at the end of two days of debate, 254 out of 300 deputies voted. The initiative, promoted by the conservative government of Nea Dimokratia, obtained the support of the opposition parties Syriza, Pasok, Nea Aristerà and Plefsi eleftherias. Twenty deputies from the governing party voted against, despite the prime minister having invited those against to abstain. Then, the deputies of the far-right Spartiates and Ellinikì lisi parties, those of the ultra-conservative Niki party and also the parliamentarians of the KKE, the Greek communist party, were against it.

A first step was taken in 2015, when during the government of Alexis Tsipras Greece has made civil unions possible for homosexual couples. A recognition that did not, however, offer the same ones guarantees laws of marriage. So far, in gay families with children, only the biological parent is considered by law to be the child’s guardian, while the other formally remains a stranger. The need to protect children is, according to Mitsotakis, the driving force behind the bill. “Invisible people will finally become visible and their children will have the same rights as other children”, declared the prime minister, recalling that “the image of the family has always changed in response to changes in society”.

The reform has caused quite a few stomach aches in the more conservative wing of the Nea Dimokratia party. The position of the influential person also weighs on the choice of dissidents Greek Orthodox Churchwho accused the reform of “subvert the foundations of the company” and invited the deputies, through a letter, not to approve it.
Despite the internal fracture, Mitsotakis chose not to impose party discipline and invited dissidents to abstain, confident in the votes that should come from the opposition.

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Syriza, led for the first time by an openly homosexual leader, Stefanos Kasselakiscriticized the bill because it does not recognize same-sex couples’ right to assisted procreation and surrogacy, a legal practice in Greece for single women and heterosexual couples. “The approval of the bill is a step of historical importance: but we still have a lot of work to do to break down discrimination,” Stella Belia, president of the Association of Greek Rainbow Families, explained to Ansa.

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