Gay Greeks cite legal loophole to tie the knot March 16, 2008Posted by grhomeboy in Gay Life, Lifestyle.
Tags: Church of Greece, Gay Life, Greece, Lifestyle, News, Religion & Faith
A lesbian organization in Greece said Thursday it has discovered a loophole in a 26-year-old law that would allow gays to marry legally.
The group, OLKE, said a 1982 law legalizing weddings in civil ceremonies refers only to participating “persons” without specifying gender. Therefore, OLKE said, it will sue Municipalities that refuse to marry gay couples.
“If the Municipalities don’t give us the OK, the next step will be legal action” OLKE spokeswoman Evangelia Vlami told The Associated Press. “There should be no impediment for us. The law refers to ‘persons,’ not a man and a woman. … So we will proceed as if there is no obstacle.”
Vlami said the group had informed the Justice Ministry of its intentions, ahead of plans by the Ministry to introduce civil partnership legislation later this year granting legal rights to unmarried couples. It was not immediately clear whether gays would be included in the new law.
Gays are protected under Greek anti-discrimination laws, but gay groups complain they face widespread discrimination, in public and at work.
Ministry officials met Thursday with Greece’s new Orthodox Church leader, Archbishop Ieronymos, to discuss the civil partnership issue. The Church is traditionally staunchly opposed to granting gays legal rights, and the idea of common-law unions. But Ieronymos, enthroned last month, has not raised any objections to the proposed reforms. “There is a need to change with the time,” Ieronymos said Wednesday.