Greece: 26th European country to recognise same-sex partnerships

A same-sex civil union bill has passed with a wide majority in the Greek Parliament. The landmark legislation passed due to support from political parties like the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), To Potami and the Union of Centrists, along with some New Democracy members of parliament.

“This ends a period of backwardness and shame for the state, which led to our country receiving international rulings against it,” said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. “Instead of celebrating, though, maybe we should apologize to hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens that have been denied their rights all these years.”

The law passed recognizes same-sex unions, however campaigners have said it does not go quite far enough: “The bill does not provide equality before the law, especially in regard to adoption and custody of children, but it comes close,” LGBT campaigner Leo Kalovyrnas said. “Politicians in this country tend to hide behind the church but they, too, across the board, are homophobic.”

Comments made earlier this month by the bishop of Kalavryta sparked controversy, as he condemned homosexuals as “freaks of nature” and encouraged people to ”spit on them.”  Read more via International Business Times