Greece Govt ‘Finalising’ Bill to Legalise Same-Sex Marriage

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The conservative New Democracy government is working on the final arrangements for a bill that will legalise same-sex marriage, though some members of Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ cabinet  have voiced opposition to the initiative.

The bill will give people of the same or different sex equal marriage rights. The bill will also regulate recognition of same-sex marriages that have taken place abroad, the media outlet Ethnos reported.

One issue that has not been clarified is the right of same-sex couples to adopt children. What is being considered is extending adoption rights to men as well as women.

It remains unclear when the government will forward the bill for a vote in parliament.

Minister of State Makis Voridis, known for his conservative views, has already stated that he will not vote for the new bill. “When you are against [gay] marriage, by and large, you are against adoption,” he said on the private TV channel OPEN TV.

The Prime Minister, attending the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair-Exhibition in September, told a journalist that marriage equality was in the government’s plans for the government’s four-year term.

“The time we will choose to bring this relevant regulation to parliament for a vote is obviously my own decision, but it is valid in its entirety as I have said pre-election and post-election. It is an issue that this government will have resolved within four years,” Mitsotakis said.

In 2015, the leftist SYRIZA-ANEL government brought in civil partnership for same-sex couples. In that vote in parliament, 29 New Democracy MPs voted against it, 19 voted for and 27 abstained.

The bill extended civil partnership rights to same-sex couples, expanding their range of rights concerning the family, inheritance and insurance.

The earlier lack of legal provision for same-sex couples resulted in Greece being condemned in 2013 by the European Court of Human Rights.

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