Greece set to finally legalise same-sex civil unions


greece_to_allow_same_sex_unionsGreek gay and lesbian couples may soon be able to have their relationships recognised under the law.

The ruling Syriza party had promised to legalise same-sex unions as part of its election campaign earlier this year.

On Wednesday, the Justice Ministry announced the introduction of a bill that will allow gay couples to enter into civil partnerships.

They would have similar rights as heterosexual married couples in areas such as taxation, insurance and inheritance.

The bill could be debated in Parliament as soon as next month. It is expected to have enough support to be passed.

In a statement, the ministry said that, “with the enactment of a new civil union pact, Greece will cease to be one of the last European countries where same-sex couples do not receive some kind of official recognition for their relationship.”

In 2013, the European Court of Human Rights condemned Greece for not giving legal protections to same-sex couples and ordered it to pay the applicants who filed a complaint 5,000 euros each in compensation.

The Greek Orthodox Church has consistently opposed enacting same-sex civil union legislation  as well as a law criminalising hate speech against LGBT people, which was passed last year.

In 2013, the Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus, who described homosexuality as a “perversion,” threatened to excommunicate MPs who voted in favour of the recognition of same-sex partnerships.

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