Greece makes same-sex marriage legal
2 min read

In a landmark decision with ripple effects throughout the Eastern Orthodox world, Greece has enacted legislation legalising same-sex marriage, becoming the first nation with a dominant Orthodox Christian population to take this progressive step.

The 176-76 vote in parliament on Thursday sparked both jubilation and condemnation across the country. While LGBTQ+ organizations and their supporters celebrated a “historic moment” and a long-awaited victory for equality, the powerful Orthodox Church voiced strong opposition, calling the move a “corruption of the homeland’s social cohesion.”

“This is a day of joy,” expressed Stella Belia, president of Rainbow Families, a group advocating for same-sex parents, expressed to Reuters news agency. Her sentiments echoed the elation felt by many who view the law as a crucial step towards inclusivity and equal rights.


Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a champion of the bill, hailed it as an act that “boldly abolishes a serious inequality.” He emphasized the impact on both same-sex couples, who can now legally wed and adopt children, and on society as a whole, acknowledging the previously “invisible” community.

However, the path to legislation wasn’t smooth. Fierce opposition from the Orthodox Church, backed by conservative elements, led to protests and public dissent. Archbishop Ieronymos, the Church’s head, denounced the law as detrimental to social fabric. Dozens of lawmakers from Mitsotakis’ own party also opposed the bill, requiring support from opposition parties to secure its passage.

Greece PM on Marriage Equality

This historic vote places Greece among the 15 European Union member states and 35 countries worldwide that recognize same-sex marriage. It breaks new ground for southeastern Europe, marking a significant cultural shift within a region traditionally influenced by the Orthodox Church’s conservative social stances.

While the journey towards full acceptance and inclusivity likely faces further challenges, this landmark decision undeniably marks a pivotal moment for Greece’s LGBTQ+ community and paves the way for a more equitable future. In the words of Mitsotakis, “the lives of several of our fellow citizens are better, without taking away anything from the lives of the many.”

Last Updated on Feb 16, 2024

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