Greece Poised for Same-Sex Civil Marriage Legislation, Sparking Debate

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

ATHENS, Greece - Greece's centre-right government is preparing to submit legislation allowing same-sex civil marriages, a move met with both anticipation and resistance within the country. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the impending bill on Wednesday despite reservations from a portion of his own party and the influential Orthodox Church.

"What we are going to legislate is equality in marriage," Mitsotakis declared in an interview with state-run ERT television. "We will remove any discrimination regarding sexual orientation when it comes to marital relationships."

However, the proposed law will not extend parenthood rights through surrogacy to same-sex couples, a contentious issue that continues to divide Greek society. "We won't change the law on assisted parenthood," Mitsotakis asserted. "The idea of women becoming child-producing machines on demand... that is not going to happen."

Several lawmakers within the governing New Democracy party, particularly from the right wing, have expressed their disapproval of any major revisions to Greece's marriage and parenthood laws to include same-sex couples. Nevertheless, Mitsotakis indicated that he won't force his party members to endorse the proposed legislation, aiming to secure cross-party support for its approval. "I believe we can secure the bill's passage," he stated. "While some will benefit greatly from this decision, resolving a real problem for them, others may disagree but ultimately won't be negatively affected."

Allowing same-sex civil marriage formed a key campaign promise for Mitsotakis, who secured a resounding second term in last year's elections. The issue gained further prominence following the summer election of Stefanos Kasselakis as leader of the main opposition Syriza party. Kasselakis, who married his male partner in New York in October, sparked controversy by expressing his desire to have children through a surrogate mother.

It's important to note that Greece legalized same-sex civil partnerships in 2015. However, the Orthodox Church maintains its opposition to same-sex civil marriage, arguing that it could pave the way for future challenges to its stance on parental rights for such couples. The Church categorically refuses to perform religious marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.

As Greece prepares for this significant legislative debate, one thing is certain: the path to equal marriage rights for same-sex couples will not be without its challenges, fueled by deeply held beliefs and differing opinions within both the political and religious spheres.

Reat More Newsbomb Poll: 89% of Greeks say “no” to same-sex marriages and adoptions

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