Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Prime Minister of Greece, has promised to legalise same-sex marriage in a huge step forward for LGBTQ+ rights.
“Same-sex marriage will happen at some point and it’s part of our strategy,” he said during an interview with Bloomberg Television in Athens on 4 July.
“Greek society is much more ready and mature.”
The country has recognised same-sex unions since 2015 but stops short of full marriage equality.
LGBTQ+ advocacy group ILGA-Europe’s annual ‘Rainbow Europe’ index, which ranks the best and worst places to be LGBTQ+ in Europe, placed Greece at 13 out of 49 countries – higher than places such as the UK, Ireland and Germany.
It noted that Mitsotakis’ support of LGBTQ+ rights and his government’s adoption of the National Strategy for Equality of LGBTQI+ people factored into it ranking so high.
Greece was also praised for banning so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for minors and other ‘vulnerable persons’, as well as prohibiting non-consensual surgeries performed on intersex countries.
However, the report stated that hate speech by political and religious leaders continues to be a “serious issue”.
“For instance, a group of Orthodox priests published a joint statement against marriage equality, calling same-sex relations a ‘deviation’ and ‘perversion’,” it said.
You can read the report in full here.