PM Mitsotakis: Yes to same-sex civil marriage, no to Parent 1 and Parent 2

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

"Yes" on marriage, but we will not become an experimental laboratory; in the bill, there will be no parent 1 and parent 2 - "Same-sex couples have children and do not have equal rights" - "Abstention is a dignified position for MPs."

Speaking of same-sex marriage and the bill the government brought to parliament, he explained that what the bill proposed was not radically different from what 20 European countries - 15 of them European Union members - had already legislated.

"We are not trying to reinvent the wheel or do something beyond what many European countries already do," he stressed. "I want to underline that we are speaking of civil marriages, right? We are not speaking of the church or wedding crowns."

Mitsotakis also noted that he respected all opinions and did not want to divide society on the issue. His greatest concern, however, was for children in same-sex couples.

"I do not believe anyone denies this reality: that same-sex couples have children, and these children will not cease to exist, will not disappear. Yet these children, you know, do not have equal rights. Why so?" he underlined, citing an example of a foreign married couple with a child born in Greece.

"If one spouse were to die of cancer, the child would have to be sent to a home for parentless children," the prime minister said. "A man alone will not be able to have a child with a surrogate mother. We will not become an experimental laboratory in Greece; the bill will not have 'parent 1' and 'parent 2'."

Speaking about rebels within his ruling New Democracy party who disagree with the same-sex marriage proposal, Mitsotakis said, "I will not ask the MPs; it is a matter of conscience; I have said it from the very beginning."

"Mr. Androulakis wants to create a problem in New Democracy, while I am not raising a question of discipline. It is instrumentalising an issue that I myself say I will not have party discipline. It is important not to be divided on this issue. I believe we will be able to pass the bill. We do not legislate based on opinion polls. Abstention is a dignified attitude that a member of parliament can have," he added.

Responding to a question on the bill tabled by the main opposition, SYRIZA, he explained that the difference between the two is that the government's bill does not change the case of assisted reproduction and, further, will not approve the use of a surrogate mother.

"That is not going to happen. [...] That is a key difference from SYRIZA's proposal," he noted.

READ MORE: Newsbomb Poll: 89% of Greeks say “no” to same-sex marriages and adoptions.

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