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First Orthodox Christian country legalizes gay marriage — RT World News

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Greek lawmakers have voted to legalize same-sex weddings in the country, despite staunch opposition by the Orthodox Church of Greece and almost half of the population.

The bill was approved on Thursday by a majority of 176 lawmakers in the 300-seat Greek parliament, as 76 rejected it and 46 were not present for the vote. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis praised the move, saying that Greece is “proud” to become the 16th European Union to legislate “marriage equality.”

“This is a milestone for human rights, reflecting today’s Greece – a progressive, and democratic country, passionately committed to European values,” he wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Greece legalized same-sex civil partnerships in 2015, providing such couples with some rights and benefits, but they were not allowed to adopt children. The new bill provides full parental rights to married same-sex partners, except for gay men couples who still won’t be allowed to have children through surrogate mothers.

The measure was pushed through by Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party backed by four left-wing parties, even as some conservatives from the ruling party opposed it.

“Same-sex marriage is not a human right … and it’s not an international obligation for our country,” former prime minister Antonis Samaras told parliament. “Children have a right to have parents from both sexes.”

An opinion survey by national pollster Alco in January showed that some 49% of Greeks opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, with 35% in favor, while 16% declined to respond. The reforms have also been staunchly opposed by the Orthodox Church of Greece, which has significant influence in society and politics as over 80% of the country’s 11 million people identify as Greek Orthodox.

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