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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsMitsotakis Says "Yes" to Gay Marriage "No" to Surrogate Mother

Mitsotakis Says “Yes” to Gay Marriage “No” to Surrogate Mother

Mitsotakis prime minister Greece
Greek PM Mitsotakis said yes to gay marriage and to parental rights for couples, but will not allow children though surrogate mothers. Credit: Prime Minister GR

A Greek government bill legalizing gay marriage will provide parental rights to couples but will not allow them to have a child through a surrogate mother, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis revealed.

“Yes” to parental rights for gay couples, “No” to surrogate mother

Mitsotakis told state-run broadcaster EPT on Wednesday, January 10th that the draft legislation will match the rights of children who live in heterosexual parent households.
“Same-sex couples already have children, but these children don’t have equal rights […] If the mother has cancer and dies, for example, her (female) partner has no legal right to the child. The child will go to an institution,” he said.

When probed about the reality that today there are children who have been brought into the care of a male couple through a surrogate mother, the Prime Minister said: “Children will always have equal rights, but new children will not be able to be born in Greece in this way.”

He added, “Children still exist today and they must have equal rights,” and also noted that the protection of children is the core of the government’s legislative initiative.

The Prime Minister added that “twenty countries in Europe have already legislated marriage equality.”

Mitsotakis had no precise date for the bill’s tabling, but explained the consultation with the public “will not last long.” He further mentioned that he would not request party discipline during the vote.

Speaking on the differences between the government’s proposal and that of opposition party SYRIZA, the Prime Minister said his would exclude the right to assisted reproduction through a surrogate mother.

“It differs very substantially on one issue: we will not tamper with the assisted reproduction regime at all,” he emphasized. “That concept, that is, of women being turned into baby-making machines on demand, as the Leader of the opposition said, ‘I want a boy and I don’t care who gives birth to him,’ that’s not going to happen. So we do nothing in the assisted reproduction regime. We are not changing anything.”

“We will not become a laboratory of experiments in Greece,” he added. “We will not experiment with more advanced ideas on the issues of rights.”

SYRIZA submitted its own legislative proposal for same-sex marriage on Monday, stating that, if adopted, it would put an end to gender-based discrimination in family law and secure the right to marriage for all people. The proposal also includes the right to medically assisted reproduction.

The PM first spoke about plans to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in July last year. Adoption rights have been present in Greece since 1946 for single men, a constitutionally protected freedom.

LGBT movements and their supporters have long campaigned for individuals in their communities to have equal family rights. Greece legalized same-sex civil unions in 2015.

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