Greece PM vows to legalise same-sex marriage: ‘Society is much more ready’

Athens Pride Greece

The prime minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has promised to legalise same-sex marriage in a significant step forward for LGBTQ+ rights in southeastern Europe. 

Mitsotakis told Bloomberg Television in Athens on Tuesday (4 July) that “same-sex marriage will happen at some point and it’s part of our strategy”. 

The centre-right leader went on to say: “Greek society is much more ready and mature.”

As of 2015, Greece recognises cohabitation agreements for same-sex couples, offering  some of the rights and benefits of marriage.

The left-wing opposition Syriza party submitted a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in 2022. However, the bill was not discussed before the May 2023 election, in which incumbent Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party increased its vote share but no party gained an overall majority.

Mitsotakis called a second snap parliamentary election on 25 June, in which he won second term.

You may like to watch

The Greek prime minister, who first came to power in 2019, appointed a committee to work on a national strategy for improving the rights of LGBTQ+ citizens in 2021 and has since lifted the ban on gay men donating blood and banning unnecessary and “abusive” intersex genital mutilation of children.

Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attends a swear in ceremony at the parliament in Athens in 2023, following the general elections. (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Equaldex’s LGBTQ+ equality index currently ranks Greece at 26 out of 51 European countries, with an equal age of consent, protections from gender identity and sexual orientation-based discrimination in housing, employment and more generally, and a ban on conversion therapy practices.

The ban on so-called conversion therapy does include a loophole on “consenting adults”. 

This year has seen Greece increase its share in the ILGAEurope Rainbow Europe ranking, coming in 11th place. The southeastern European country has now overtaken nations including Germany and the UK. 

Please login or register to comment on this story.