Greece: First Orthodox Christian country to legalize same-sex civil marriage

The historic move came after a cross-party majority of 176 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament voted in favor of the bill, drafted by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' center-right government.

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In a landmark decision, Greece has become the first Orthodox Christian country to legalize same-sex civil marriage, marking a significant step forward for LGBTQ+ rights in the nation.

The historic move came after a cross-party majority of 176 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament voted in favor of the bill, drafted by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' center-right government. This decision, despite opposition from the influential Greek Church, reflects Greece's commitment to progressive values and human rights.

Following the vote, Mitsotakis expressed pride in Greece becoming the 16th European Union country to legislate marriage equality, emphasizing the country's dedication to European values and progressive ideals. Supporters of the reform rejoiced outside parliament, celebrating a long-awaited victory for equality and inclusion.

While opposition to the bill was present, with protests from conservative groups and dissenting lawmakers, the majority of Greeks support the reform by a narrow margin, according to opinion polls. The issue, however, has not caused significant divisions in a country more preoccupied with economic concerns such as the high cost of living.

The new law confers full parental rights on married same-sex partners with children, addressing a longstanding injustice and bureaucratic hurdles faced by same-sex couples and their children. Although limitations exist, such as the exclusion of gay couples from parenthood through surrogate mothers in Greece, the legalization of same-sex civil marriage represents a significant step forward in recognizing and affirming the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and families.

Critics, including some members of the Greek Church and conservative lawmakers, have voiced concerns about the bill's implications for traditional family values. However, the passage of the legislation reflects Greece's commitment to equality and human rights, signaling a progressive shift in societal attitudes towards LGBTQ+ rights.

Despite some opposition, the political implications of the same-sex marriage law are not expected to significantly impact Mitsotakis' government. The focus remains on addressing other pressing issues, such as economic challenges and ongoing protests, while continuing to advance the country's progressive agenda.

Nonetheless, Greece's legalization of same-sex civil marriage marks a historic milestone in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and represents a significant victory for equality, inclusion, and human dignity in the nation.