GREECE: Marriage equality to be enshrined

Bill extends rights, including for adoption, to same-sex couples; vote will need opposition help

 A draft bill to be submitted to Parliament in the coming months will extend equal marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples, Kathimerini understands.

Five years after the leftist-led government passed legislation granting fostering rights to same-sex couples over the objections of government partner Independent Greeks and only four New Democracy MPs (all women, including two current ministers and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ sister and former minister Dora Bakoyannis) out of 75 voted for it, Mitsotakis is determined to extend same-sex couples’ rights beyond that, and beyond the currently available partnership contract.

The bill’s first article defines marriage as between persons of the same or different sex. All the rights and obligations deriving from this relationship are implicit rather than explicit. Any thought of excluding same-sex couples was rejected as unconstitutional unlikely to withstand scrutiny, either in Greek or European courts, a person with inside knowledge of the draft legislation’s provision told Kathimerini.

“The issue is not whether we will allow LGBTQ+ people to have children; those who want to can already have them. The issue is to recognize the rights of those children and their parents’ obligations,” the same person said.

It has been decided that, in the case of children of same-sex couples, the official paperwork will not mention “parent 1” and “parent 2” but “father-father” or “mother-mother,” depending on the case.

The draft bill also contain transitional clauses about recognizing marriages registered abroad and the option for people in a civil contract to exchange it for a civil marriage.

Only civil marriages will be covered by the bill. The opposition of the Orthodox Church of Greece wouldn’t allow for any other option. But talks with bishops have left the impression that the Church will mobilize the faithful to protest.

Mitsotakis has decided that MPs will vote according to their conscience, hoping that at least the two main opposition parties, SYRIZA and socialist PASOK, will be supportive. The pitch to recalcitrant New Democracy MPs will be reportedly not to stand in the way of increasing acceptance LGBTQ rights that might, in the longer term, hurt them politically. 




Tags: Marriage Equality,, Human rights, Russian society, Greece

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