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Greece: Same-sex marriage recognition, key milestone in fight against homophobia and transphobia

Reacting to today’s passing of a bill in Greece recognizing same-sex marriage and, as a result, allowing same-sex couples to adopt, Amnesty International Greece’s Campaigns Coordinator, Despina Paraskeva-Veloudogianni, said:

“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. It gives same-sex couples and their children the visibility and rights that they have long been denied.

“Greece has today become the 21st European country to introduce same-sex marriage. While the law will bring very significant changes, it stops short of allowing full equality for non-biological parents and does not recognize identities beyond the gender binary. It fails to facilitate access to assisted reproductive technology for same-sex couples, single men, transgender and intersex persons. It also fails to amend a provision that prevents changing the name and gender of a transgender person in their children’s birth certificate.

“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.”


The law was adopted with a majority following an intense debate in Parliament and beyond and against a backdrop of very public homophobic and transphobic speech. 254 MPs voted and out of those 176 voted in favour of the law.

Despite repeated calls by civil society groups advocating for LGBTQI+ persons’ rights, the failure of the authorities to introduce certain amendments on the “presumption of paternity”, civil partnerships, medically assisted reproduction and legislation on legal gender recognition perpetuates multiple forms of discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons.