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Mitsotakis: “Yes” to same-sex marriage, “No” to surrogate mother

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis revealed his legislation plans regarding the the marriage of same-sex couples and their right to have children. A topic that has stirred a heated debate in Greece but also withing the ruling conservative party with at least four cabinet ministers to oppose such a bill.

Note that the legislation regards civil marriage only and that same-sex couples have the right for a civil partnership agreement since 2018.

In an interview with state broadcaster ERT on Wednesday evening, Mitsotakis stated : Yes to same-sex marriage. But “No” to surrogate mother for male same-sex couples.

“They will have the possibility to a adopt but to not have a child through a surrogate mother,” the PM reportedly said. He implied, though, that children born to male couples through a surrogate mother abroad, will have their rights recognized.

Presenting the bill on same-sex marriage, the prime minister said that it complements the framework that already exists with the cohabitation agreement, while regarding procreation, which according to opinion polls has emerged as the major issue that divides society, he pointed out that for men same-sex couples will not be allowed to have a child through a surrogate mother, but the possibility of adoption..

It should be recalled that recent media leaks claimed that only male couples will be deprived of the right of a surrogate mother, however, the PM did not reveal significant details. He rather choose to argue on a few issues of concern that make the same-sex marriage necessary.

“Marriage is a conservative institution, it implies a concept of permanence. I will not bring something revolutionary, 20 European countries have legislated – 15 are within the EU, we will not discover gunpowder,” the PM noted.

He expressed concern about the children of same-sex couples, their rights or the absence of them as well as their future if one of the parents dies.

Most citizens have no objection to marriage and where there is always a reservation and he listens to it with concern, it is about what will happen to the children, the PM said.

“I have spoken with many of our fellow citizens who are affected by this upcoming legislation.

“Children exist today. And I don’t think anyone disputes a reality: that same-sex couples have children, and those children will not cease to exist, they will not disappear. However, these children, you know, do not have equal rights. And why don’t they have equal rights?”

He spoke of a woman, a mother, who lives with her same-sex partner. If she dies, the partner has no rights to the child and the child will go to an institution.

“I honestly ask and look in the eyes of all those who may have some reservations about this issue: are we serving the rights of the children that already exist by not regulating the few children, the few couples who are ultimately affected by the issue? And it’s very concerning to them, you know. A child born abroad cannot become a Greek citizen because we in Greece simply do not recognize same-sex marriage.”

He pointed out at another serious issue children of such couples are confronted with: bulling..

“I hear a lot about bullying and it worries me too: when is there more or less bullying? When these are done in secret or when we openly discuss these issues? I think it’s probably more likely to happen in the first category because these kids do exist,” he said.

Regarding objections to the bill by conservative institutions such as the Greek Orthodox Church and parts of the society, Mitsotakis stressed: “I respect all opinions, I do not want to divide the Greek society. I absolutely respect our fellow citizens, who have a different opinion, as well as the Church.”

He added “the Church was against civil marriage and cremation and the State legislated respecting the role of the Church. We will listen to the views of the Church, but the State legislates, it does not co-legislate with the Church.”

PM Mitsotakis said that he wants this discussion to mature in society, before he brings the bill to the Cabinet. it is unclear whether the maturity of the Greek society will take place before or after the European elections.

He added that there would be no “party discipline” for voting ND MPs and ministers.

PS I guess, male homosexual couples could directly bring Greece to EU courts claiming ‘discrimination’.

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2 comments

  1. Over recent months I have read about heterosexual couples killing and abusing their children.Also bullying has become a huge problem,once again in normal family situations.So why should same sex couples be punished. Whoever you are as long as your children are well looked after,loved and provided for,what’s the problem!

  2. Everybody has the right to their own opinions. Everybody has the right to express those opinions. NOBODY has the right to impose those opinions on somebody else. When governments pass laws they are effectively imposing their opinions on everybody and need to do so with great care, whatever opinions exist.

    Laws should be based on The Golden Rule. Effectively everything should be allowed with a single proviso – it must not do harm to somebody else. I am sure there will be grey areas but whatever decision is made in those areas it should apply to all. Either surrogacy is judged not to do harm to somebody else, in which case it should be allowed, or it is judged that it does do harm to somebody else, in which case it should be banned by law. If it is allowed then it must be allowed for all. As you point out, KTG, if it is allowed for some and not for others then that is a priori discrimination.