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Greece Becomes 21st Nation to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage in Europe

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After years of advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community and debate amongst political groups, Greece has finally taken a crucial step in marriage equality. In late February, the country became the 21st nation in Europe to officially legalize same-sex marriage. Greece passed this legislation in a majority parliament vote despite heated debates in the midst of homophobic and transphobic speeches. The legislation was passed in a 176-76 vote and made Greece the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalize same-sex marriage.

“[This law] will make the life of some of our fellow citizens that much better without—and I emphasize this—taking away anything from the lives of many,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in support of legalization. “We are covering a gap by allowing everyone, if they wish, to institutionally seal their relationship…just as heterosexual couples do.”

By proxy, the law additionally opens up adoption opportunities to same-sex couples and establishes legitimacy of queer families who have long been denied certain rights due to a lack of official documentation.

The measure is also being viewed as a first step in furthering equality rights for LGBTQ+ people—a massive point of discussion amongst Greek citizens and politicians alike. Currently, Greece still lacks laws that many other countries have already implemented, including recognition of individuals outside of the gender binary, full support to non-biological families and access to assisted reproductive technology for same-sex couples, single men, transgender and intersex persons.

Despina Paraskeva-Veloudogianni, the campaigns coordinator for the human rights organization Amnesty International Greece, released a statement emphasizing that while this legislature is important, it does not completely solve the equality rights that Greece’s population desperately needs. “This law represents an important milestone in the fight against homophobia and transphobia and a hard-won victory for those who have led that fight…the Greek authorities must not only take steps to ensure the swift and effective implementation of the new legislation but should also introduce further legislative changes to guarantee full equality for LGBTQI+ people and families.”

Greece now joins Estonia as the one of the nations to legalize same-sex marriage in 2024, along with several other countries showing an opportunity to follow suit in the coming year. According to the Human Rights Campaign, Nepal could potentially call for country-wide marriage equality in their March rulings while Czechia, India, Thailand, Japan and the Philippines could follow suit by the end of the year. Currently, there are a total of 36 countries that recognize same-sex marriage outside of the United States.

Read more articles for the LGBTQ+ community here.

The post Greece Becomes 21st Nation to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage in Europe appeared first on DiversityComm.

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