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06/03/2008

Lesbos' home nation marries gay pairs

by Jeremy Hooper

200806031905Even though we tend to limit coverage to the "culture war" here at home, we'd be remiss if we did not mention that Greece today performed its first same-sex wedding:

First Same-Sex Weddings in Greece [NY Times]

Now, Greece’s top prosecutor, Giorgos Sanidas, has already threatened that such unions would deemed illegal. However, gay activists and other fans of that "radical" concept known as equality say otherwise, citing a loophole in a 26-year-old law that does not specifically say that a civil marriage has to be opposite-gender.

So who's in the right and who's in the wrong? Well, we don't want to be overconfident; but if our childhood obsession with Greek mythology told is anything, it's to bet on the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, rather than the God on Unnecessary Bias Propagation, Uranusisexitonly.

**MORE:

The issue of whether the vagueness of the current law on marriage allows same-sex couples to marry has divided Greek legal experts, although most believe that without a specific definition of what constitutes a couple the court will likely deny the government application to annual the weddings.
Greek Government To Annul Gay Marriages [365]

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Your thoughts

But what about this on 365?


Greek Government To Annul Gay Marriages
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 3, 2008 - 10:30 am ET
(Athens) The Greek government moved Tuesday to annul the marriages of two same-sex couples after the weddings were performed by the mayor of the island of Tilos.
Supreme Court Prosecutor Giorgos Sanides said he would ask the high court to declare the marriages illegal. 
Tilos falls under the jurisdiction of the island of Rhodes.  The prosecutor there has charged Mayor Tasos Aliferis with breach of duty for conducting the marriages.
Aliferis performed the wedding for a lesbian couple on Monday and a gay couple on Tuesday.
Hundreds of friends of the couples turned out for the ceremonies, as did dozens of curious townsfolk and the media.
The LGBT rights group OLKE said earlier this year it had found a loophole in a 26 year old update of the Greek civil marriage law that refers only to participating "persons," without specifying gender. 
OLKE said that by not naming gender the law, albeit inadvertently, allows same-sex marriage and the group began the search for a mayor who would agree with them and perform the first ceremony.
Sanides disagrees with OKKE's assessment of the law.  He maintains the law limits marriage to opposite-sex couples.
The Greek Orthodox Church s traditionally staunchly opposed to granting gays legal rights, and the idea of common-law unions. But its leader, Archbishop Ieronymos, who was enthroned earlier this year has been silent on the issue of marriage.
The government recently introduced civil partnership legislation that would grant legal rights to unmarried couples, but the bill specifically excludes same-sex couples.
Gays and lesbians have some legal protections under Greek law - mainly in the areas of employment and housing.
The issue of whether the vagueness of the current law on marriage allows same-sex couples to marry has divided Greek legal experts, although most believe that without a specific definition of what constitutes a couple the court will likely deny the government application to annual the weddings.

Posted by: LOrion | Jun 3, 2008 7:58:28 PM

greeks have been gay since the dawn of time

Posted by: dad | Jun 3, 2008 9:29:57 PM

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