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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsFirst Wedding of Same-Sex Couple Takes Place in Greece

First Wedding of Same-Sex Couple Takes Place in Greece

Same-sex couple wedding
A historic day for the LGBTI in Greece as the first gay couple wedding takes place. Credit: AMNA

The first same-sex couple got married in a civic wedding in Greece on Saturday following the recent law allowing gay marriages.

LGBTI rights activists Stavros Gavriliadis and Dimitris Elefsiniotis married in the City Hall of Nea Smyrni, a suburb of south Athens.

Speaking to Skai TV, deputy mayor of Nea Smyrni, Konstantinos Anagnostopoulos, who performed the wedding, said recently that the law came to cover a legal gap and he expressed the assumption that other same-sex couples will follow.

For over 20 years, Stavros Gavriliadis and Dimitrios Elefsiniotis have shared a common life. They bought a house and started a family. But until recently they could not marry and were not recognized as the parents of their three children.

The new law means the 52-year-old Stavros will no longer have to worry about his son’s fate if he dies before his partner Dimitris, or if he is allowed to pick up his (non-biological) twin children from school. The five of them will finally be considered a family – and not “strangers”, noted Gavrieliadis.

Gavriliadis commented to Bloomberg that the new law is a welcome solution to his family’s problems. After the wedding, he will officially adopt Dimitris’ twins and Dimitris will adopt his son.

“We will finally be a family with two surnames,” he said. The law “honors freedom, equality, love, our dignity and ensures the rights of our children,” Stavros Gavriliadis stressed.

Greece approves same-sex marriage

On February 15, 2024, the Greek Parliament approved a bill on same-sex marriage in a landmark reform promoted by the conservative government over the opposition of the country’s powerful Orthodox Church.

“The vote has passed: as of tonight, Greece is proud to become the 16th EU country to legislate marriage equality,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis posted on X. “This is a milestone for human rights, reflecting today’s Greece — a progressive, and democratic country, passionately committed to European values,” he added.

Greece passed legislation in 2015 allowing civil unions between same-sex people. The new law goes further to allow child adoption, while excluding the option of surrogacy.

Same-sex couples can now also adopt in Greece, but not have a baby through a surrogate. Like in much of the EU, surrogacy remains a thorny issue and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who tabled the legislation as “a matter of equality,” clarified early on that this was not something he was willing to tackle.

Rights activists say the new law does not go far enough because it does not allow same-sex couples to have children through surrogacy.

The EU is trying to harmonize legislation across it to tackle this problem but is facing resistance from countries such as Italy and Hungary, where their governments marginalize their LGBTI communities. With Greece, 16 of the 27 member states now recognize same-sex marriage.

Related: Europe, US Congratulate Greece on Same-Sex Marriage Law

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