Greece’s parliament has approved a bill that allows gay and lesbian couples to enter a civil union.
According to the AFP, 193 lawmakers backed the law, while 56 rejected it.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that the bill would end a practice of “backwardness and shame” for Greece.
The new law does not provide for the adoption of children.
The influential Greek Orthodox Church lobbied against passage. This week, a prominent Greek bishop described gay men and lesbians as “criminals” and “freaks of nature,” adding that they should be “spat upon.”
Reports of homophobic attacks have increased in Greece in recent years.
In praising passage of the law, Amnesty International called on the government to act.
“Despite this first step, LGBTI people in Greece still live in a climate of hostility from which the authorities are failing to protect them adequately,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Europe and Central Asia.
“Physical attacks are on the rise, hate speech is common and goes unchecked by the authorities. Even displays of affection between same-sex couples are censored on television,” he added.
Only a handful of EU nations – including Italy, Poland and Romania – do not recognize the unions of gay couples.
by On Top Magazine Staff
Source – On Top Magazine