Sunday, 23 March 2008

Greek bloggers against discrimination

Unzipped: Gay Armenia expresses its support and solidarity with Greek bloggers in their fight against discrimination

A few weeks ago the Greek Ministry of Justice has announced their intention to present a new bill in Parliament that will introduce a domestic partnership contract exclusively for unmarried heterosexual couples. This discriminatory project has been widely denounced not just by the LGBT community, but also Greek citizens from all walks of life who believe that it violates the Equality clause enshrined in our constitution, as well as the country’s European commitments.

As a reaction to the proposed bill the association OLKE (Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece) has announced its intention to pursue the country’s first same-sex civil wedding, noting that the current law does not refer to the sex of the participants. A female couple will present themselves to the town-hall of Kesariani (a municipality adjoining Athens) and ask the mayor to officialise their union. The mayor of Kesariani has declared that he will go on with the wedding provided he gets a favourable ruling from the State Legal Council. In Thessaloniki a male couple will try to do the same.

On Monday the 17th of March a blogger initiative under the collective title “Greek Bloggers Against Discrimination” has started its own campaign against the proposed legislation with the coordinated publication of an online protest entitled “A domestic partnership that discriminates? No Thanks”. Below you can read the full text of this online protest in English. For a full list of the 200 weblogs that have signed on this initiative, you can visit here.


In Greece gays, lesbians and transexuals know about discrimination. They face it daily from their families, in their social lives and in the professional field.

But sometimes, all it takes is a single straw to break the camel's back.

According to press reports, the greek government is preparing to introduce a domestic partnership 'contract' EXCLUSIVELY for unmarried heterosexual couples. We do not believe that a mere 'contract' can resolve the issues same-sex couples face or ensure their fair treatment under the law. However this discriminatory proposal is a direct contravention of the greek Constitution, as well as european human rights treaties. Especially since same-sex couples already enjoy legal rights in 18 european nations.

The aim of this intervention is to make sure that european institutions, human rights organisations, websites and weblogs from around the world learn about these proposals. What we ask for is equal rights for all. Nothing more and nothing less.

This time around we will not sit idly by. This time around we will not keep silent.



gay super hero said...

Your support is just precious! Thank you so very much! We love Armenia :-)

artmika said...

PinkNews reports on positive developments in Greece in relation to demands of equality and formal recognition for same-sex couples:

Greeks consider recognising same-sex couples

Greek authorities are considering adopting a law that would allow same-sex couples to be recognised by a civil ceremony, the country's NET TV said on Monday.

The Greek Justice Ministry pledged to establish a working group on the rights of gay couples living together, which would "analyse all aspects of the issue, international practice and the existing domestic legal and social framework."

The New Democracy-led government is expected to introduce legislation later in the year that will offer several rights to unmarried couples.

The Minister of Justice has announced to the media that the government is against discrimination and will therefore include same-sex unions in the legislation.

This announcement has caused anger in the Greek Orthodox Church.

Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki said that such a decision would degrade the human species and "make them equal to animals."

However, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens has distanced himself from the Holy Synod's stance on the issue of cohabitation between unmarried couples saying that the Church "should be more open-minded and less moralistic."

Chruch's governing synod described moves by the Greek government to afford unmarried or defacto couples the same legal rights as their married counterparts as a "catastrophic bomb" which threatened Greek society and compared the move to "prostitution."

The Greek government is hoping new legislation will align with similar laws throughout Europe.

The government of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis remains opposed to same-sex marriage.

A survey published on December 2006 showed that 16% of Greeks surveyed support same-sex marriage and 11% recognise same-sex couple's right to adopt.

These figures are considerably below the 27-member European Union average of 44% and 33% respectively and place Greece in the lowest ranks of the European Union along with Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus.

Gays are still barred from entering the military.

However, homosexuals in Greece are still seeking a greater voice within their country in recent years, which culminated in the first Gay Pride parade in 2005.

A Greek lesbian couple in Athens are due to attempt to marry in a civil ceremony in the country's first same-sex marriage.

The law does not explicitly proclaim a civil union must take place between a man and a woman, the couple are hoping to take advantage.

The ceremony is set to take place in the Kessariani quarter of Athens and will be officiated by the town's mayor.