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Greece’s Parliament to Vote on Same-Sex Marriage in February

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The same-sex marriage bill is opposed by the Church. Public Domain

The Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday he will bring a same-sex marriage bill before Parliament in February, where it’s expected to pass although some members of his New Democracy may abstain.

He was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, telling Bloomberg TV that the draft law “will be submitted to the next cabinet meeting next week.”

“I’m very optimistic that it will become Greek law within the first two weeks of February,” Mitsotakis said. “What I have to openly say is that these are important issues for certain citizens …. Until now we have had a healthy discussion.”

He added, “We have explained the issue regarding marriage equality and we must protect the rights of the children that already exist. It is a fact, it is reality, and ultimately I think that this must be the result of legislation of the Hellenic Parliament,” he added.

Last July Mitsotakis announced his intention to legalize same-sex marriage during his second term in office, declaring that “same-sex marriage will happen at some point, and it’s part of our strategy.”

He went on to emphasize that “Greek society is much more ready and mature.”

The bill legalizing gay marriage will provide parental rights to couples but will not allow them to have a child through a surrogate mother.

Orthodox Church in Greece opposes parenting of same-sex couples

The government has ruled out the possibility of conducting a referendum on the matter of same-sex marriage and childbearing for same-sex couples.

In an interview on Skai radio on Friday, spokesman Pavlos Marinakis emphasized that while the government respects the role and views of the Church, it remains committed to implementing its policy program.

“This bill was one of our pre-election commitments,” Marinakis said and added that issues concerning rights cannot be settled through referenda in Greece.

Earlier on Friday, Archbishop Ieronymos, the head of the influential Orthodox Church of Greece, which opposes the government’s plans, proposed the idea of a referendum to address the issue.

In late December the Church’s ruling Holy Synod delivered a 1,500-word document opposing the bill.

The church clarified that it does not disagree with same-sex civil marriages as it is indifferent to the sex of couples and is something that does not concern Orthodox Christian tradition.

However, their concerns remain around parenting, which they disagree with because “it does not satisfy the rights of children to have both a father and a mother.”

As an extension to that, the church disagrees with same-sex marriage because it can lead to same-sex parenting. Stating that “the extension of marriage to same-sex couples is not legally permissible, excluding them from the right to adoption that currently applies to married couples.”

RelatedWhat We Can Learn from Plato about Same-Sex Marriage

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