LGBTQ+ Community Sees Major Wins in Greece

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By Mia Birkes

In February of this year, the birthplace of democracy saw the Greek parliament legalize same-sex marriage and adoption, becoming the first Orthodox Christian country to do so. This vote secured a major win for the LGBTQ+ community in Greece and has the potential to set the standard for other Orthodox Christian nations, such as Russia, Ethiopia, and Bulgaria. 

The fight for protections for LGBTQ+ couples and parents in Greece has ramped up in the last few years. In 2018, the European Court of Justice, the high court in the EU, ruled that all EU countries are “required to recognize the same-sex marriages of EU and non-EU citizens for purposes of immigration, regardless of whether same-sex marriage is legal in those countries,” per the HRC Foundation. 

Another earlier win for this community came in 2015, when civil partnerships between same-sex individuals were recognized and allowed some of the same protections as heterosexual couples, but still were not legally recognized as parents of their children and were not allowed to adopt. This 2015 law faced major backlash from Orthodox Christians and many major political groups, but that didn’t stop advocates from fighting for the future. 

There is still work to be done regarding surrogacy and other methods in many EU countries, CNN reports. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis noted in an interview that surrogacy will remain untouched as a practice in general, stating that “the idea of women who are turned into child-producing machines on demand…that is not going to happen.” The law does, however, recognize the status of surrogate children born abroad. 

There is still pushback from right-wing groups and the Greek Orthodox Church, who cite traditional family values and “confusion of gender roles.” Despite this hopeful legislation, many individuals in Greece still oppose same-sex couple adoption even if they support same-sex marriage, a Metron Analysis poll found. Despite everything, this victory refuses to be marred by controversy and provides inspiration for future activism and legislation regarding the LGBTQ+ community. 

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