ATHENS, Greece – More than 1,500 protesters gathered in central Athens on Sunday to protest against a law legalizing same-sex marriage. Greece. The bill will be put to a vote in parliament in a few days.
Greece’s conservative government is sponsoring the bill, but it will need votes from the center and left opposition parties to pass. However, even some centre-left MPs have opposed the bill.
Organizers of Sunday’s rally – religious groups – assessed the bill as a threat to a traditional family. Many of the protesters chanted “hands off our children”.
“Unfortunately, the woke agenda has reached Greece, and this agenda includes gay marriage,” said Dimitris Natsios, leader of the far-right and strongly religious Niki party.
“Greece is a Christian Orthodox country and our tradition does not allow this. … We know and respect one type of marriage: the Orthodox Christian wedding. Our constitution does not provide for that, so this bill is unconstitutional and against our faith in Christ,” said Natsios.
The Niki party, founded in 2019, entered the parliament in 2023. In the most recent elections held in June, it came sixth with 3.70% of the vote and elected 10 deputies to the 300-member assembly.
Many same-sex couples wishing to start a family in Greece currently marry in countries where same-sex weddings are legal.
Greece has legalized “cohabitation agreements” for same-sex couples since December 2015. It also allowed gender reassignment by simple declaration in October 2017, without requiring a psychiatric examination or sex reassignment surgery.
If the bill is approved, Greece will become the first Orthodox country to legalize same-sex marriage.