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Greek parliament legalizes same-sex cohabitation

23 December 2015 / 11:12:28  GRReporter
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With a large majority the Greek parliament legalized the cohabitation of same-sex couples. The voting involved 249 deputies, 194 voted "for" and 55 "against" it. The proposal was supported by all members of the leftist formations SYRIZA, PASOK, Potami and the Union of Centrists.
    The conservative New Democracy party had no common party line on the cohabitation of same-sex couples and its MPs voted according to conscience. Thus, the party votes were divided into three groups. 19 deputies voted "for", including Vassilis Oikonomou who was recently attacked by anarchists, former Minister of Tourism Olga Kefalogianni, candidate for New Democracy president Kiriakos Mitsotakis. 29 MPs voted "against", including former minister in several governments Makis Voridis. 27 MPs who it is believed would have voted "against" did not dare to openly declare it and simply preferred not to appear in the plenary hall. Among them were candidate for New Democracy president Vangelis Meimarakis, former Minister of Health Adonis Georgiadis, former Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis.
    Coalition partner in the government, the Independent Greeks party, opposed the legal cohabitation of same-sex couples. However, three MPs did not follow the party line and voted "for" whereas party chairman and Minister of Defence Panos Kammenos did not attend the voting. The parliamentary groups of Golden Dawn and the Communist Party of Greece voted against the bill too.
    The members of the LGBT community in Greece responded with great enthusiasm to the voting results. A select part of them was watching live the debates in parliament and marked the voting result with the first same-sex kiss under the roof of the Greek parliament.

    As expected, the Orthodox Church declared its stance against the cohabitation of same-sex couples. In an official letter to the Minister of Justice, the monks of Mount Athos demanded that the voting in parliament be postponed. "It is extremely challenging for Greek society to accept same-sex couples as a family with all the ensuing legal and social consequences," reads the letter of the monks.

Tags: Same-sex couplesGreek parliamentNew DemocracySyrizaIndependent Greeks
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