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ReligionChristianityGreece became the first Orthodox country to approve same-sex marriage

Greece became the first Orthodox country to approve same-sex marriage

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The country’s parliament approved a bill allowing civil marriages between people of the same sex, which was applauded by supporters of the rights of the LGBT community, Reuters reported.

Representatives of both supporters and opponents of the legalization of civil marriage between same-sex couples had gathered in front of the parliament.

The law gives same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children and comes after decades of campaigning by the LGBT community for marriage equality in the socially conservative Balkan country.

“This is a historic moment,” Stella Belia, head of same-sex parenting group Rainbow Families, told Reuters. “It’s a day of joy,” added the activist.

The bill was approved by 176 MPs in the 300-seat parliament and will become law when it is published in the Official State Gazette.

Although members of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s cabinet from the center-right New Democracy party abstained or voted against the bill, it received sufficient support from the left-wing opposition, in a rare show of cross-party unity and despite contentious debates.

Before the vote, Mitsotakis called on Mitsotakis called on the parliament to say yes to equality and approve the bill.

“For every democratic citizen, today is a day of joy that tomorrow a barrier will be removed”, declared the Greek Prime Minister in a speech to the MPs.

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