In Greece, thousands of people demonstrate in Athens against the bill in favor of same-sex marriage

Some 4,000 opponents, according to the police, of the bill paving the way for homosexual marriage and adoption by same-sex couples gathered on Sunday February 11 in Athens

In Greece, thousands of people demonstrate in Athens against the bill in favor of same-sex marriage

Some 4,000 opponents, according to the police, of the bill paving the way for homosexual marriage and adoption by same-sex couples gathered on Sunday February 11 in Athens.

Gathered below Parliament where the bill proposed by the conservative government should be adopted on Wednesday or Thursday, demonstrators displayed banners proclaiming: “No to homosexual parenthood” or “the Greek Orthodox family is a father, a mother and children.” The protesters, who responded to the call “no to changing the institution of the family”, also chanted several times: “Don’t touch the children”.

The gathering included several Orthodox priests and nuns, people carrying crucifixes and crosses, but also many supporters of the far-right Niki party, including its leader, Dimitris Natsios.

Several opposition parties in favor of the text

Parliament “is going to adopt a law that goes against the physiological family,” judged one of the demonstrators Grigorios Grigorakis, 57, brandishing an icon of the Virgin. “Christ, the Gospel say that the family is a man, a woman and children,” added this man from Florina (north).

Same-sex couples “have rights, no one questions them. There is already civil union” adopted in 2015 in Greece, assures Efrosini, an Athenian retiree.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis carried the bill despite fierce opposition from the powerful and influential Orthodox Church and the right wing of his New Democracy (ND) party.

The adoption of the bill is in little doubt as several opposition parties, including the left-wing Syriza led by Stefanos Kasselakis who recently married his partner in the United States, have announced their intention to vote in favor of text.

It constitutes a significant step forward in a country where a traditional family model still largely predominates. Until now, for homosexual couples with children, only the biological parent has rights over these children.

While several polls have shown that Greeks are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, a large majority of them say they are opposed to the right to adoption for same-sex couples.