Saturday, December 17, 2005

Anyone else see the irony here?

It seems that gay couples don't have a chance of getting recognized in Greece any time in the near future, according to this article in Ekathimerini. Of course, a big part of this is likely pressure by the ever illustrious head of the Greek Church, Archbishop Christodoulos, who, apparently after jumping aboard the Way Back machine, called homosexuality an "illness".

Responding to a question from Synaspismos Left Coalition leader Alekos Alavanos, Papaligouras told Parliament that Greek society was not ready to accept a change in the law giving rights to homosexual couples who live together.

“Any legislative initiative cannot exceed the tolerance and the sentiment of what is generally acceptable in any society,” Papaligouras said. “Every change has to mature in society before it can be decreed as law.”

I haven't really noticed much in the way of anti-gay sentiment here, but then again, ideas of homosexuality aren't prevalent here either, unless you want to read ancient Greek texts. You would really think that of all the EU countries, Greece should have been one of the first to recognize homosexual couples, Church or not. Hey, if the Catholics in Spain can do it, the Greek Orthodox should see fit to open their hearts and minds a bit too.

Alavanos said it was a sign of progress that the issue is now being discussed openly by politicians and the media. He asked Papaligouras to form a law-drafting committee to examine the possibility of giving greater recognition to same-sex couples.

The minister said that a committee was examining possible changes to the law in the case of heterosexual people who live together but there were no plans to extend that to homosexual couples.

Well, I'm glad he sees it as a sign of progress, but I really don't want to see Greece falling behind when it comes to the recognition of human rights in the EU.

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