Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. This historic decision not only enables same-sex couples to marry but also legally adopt children, following a decisive 176-76 vote in the Greek parliament.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis heralded the law as a step toward eradicating “a serious inequality,” a sentiment echoed by LGBTQ+ organisations and advocates worldwide. Prime Minister Mitsotakis said, “People who have been invisible will finally be made visible around us, and with them, many children will finally find their rightful place”.

The resistance faced by the bill, notably from the Orthodox Church, highlights the cultural and social challenges inherent in advancing LGBTQ+ rights in regions with deeply entrenched religious traditions. This opposition, formed in public protests and the Church’s criticisms, shows the obstacles that remain in various countries and highlights the importance of the law in advancing equality.

Same-Sex Marriage in England and Wales – Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013

Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2014 in England and Wales, with the introduction of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. This Act allows for same-sex marriages to be conducted in civil ceremonies and provides an option for religious institutions to officiate such marriages, should they wish to.

Much like in Greece, this bill faced significant opposition at the time, particularly from major religious institutions such as the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. Despite these challenges, the legislation was passed, representing a significant shift towards greater inclusivity and equality in our society.

LGBT History Month

Greece’s landmark decision to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples coincides with the annual LGBT History Month. LGBT History Month serves as a time to reflect on the struggles and victories of the LGBTQ+ community, making Greece’s decision a significant milestone in the ongoing progression of LGBTQ+ rights and recognition.

Director, Sam John, commented, “the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Greece, which has coincided with LGBT History Month, is a major step forward for the rights of LGBTQ+ people.”