Greece Legalizes Gay Marriage Despite Church Opposition

Sakis MITROLIDIS / AFP) (Photo by SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP via Getty Images

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Greece, an Orthodox Christian country, legalized gay marriage Thursday despite opposition from the Greek Church.

Greece became the first Orthodox Christian country to allow gay couples to marry after lawmakers passed a bill legalizing the act, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

A majority of 176 lawmakers in Greece’s 300-seat parliament voted in favor of the legislation, which was drafted by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, according to the outlet. Seventy-six lawmakers voted against the bill, while two abstained and 46 were not present.

Mitsotakis took to social media to celebrate the passage of his bill, stating that Greece “is proud to become the 16th (European Union) country to legislate marriage equality,” the outlet reported.

“This is a milestone for human rights, reflecting today’s Greece — a progressive, and democratic country, passionately committed to European values,” the Greek prime minister wrote.

Crowds of people gathered outside of parliament to watch the debate on gay marriage. Supports of the legislation rejoiced when it was passed into law, while protesters made clear their opposition by holding religious books and icons, according to the outlet. (RELATED: ‘I Was Scared’: Ex-Therapist Says Hospital Required Her To Misdiagnose Troubled Teens As Trans)

The Church of Greece warned that the legalization of same-sex marriage is a slippery slope toward the potential legalization of surrogacy for gay couples, which the church vehemently opposes, according to the outlet.

Greek lawmaker Vassilis Stigas, head of the Spartans party, expressed his disapproval of the country’s legalization of gay marriage, the outlet reported. He said the legislation was “sick” and claimed its passage would “open the gates of Hell and perversion.”