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20 July, 2024
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Greek PM sparks debate on same-sex marriage rights

Mitsotakis backs 'Marriage Equality' in exclusive interview

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has decided to open the debate on same-sex marriage and parenthood, as is expected to address the issue extensively in a television interview on Wednesday.

He is expected to support “marriage equality” and to announce an anticipated bill giving same-sex couples the right to be joined in a civil marriage instead of just a partnership agreement. It is also speculated that the bill on the matter will not take long to come up for a vote.

The bill will likely also provide the right to adoption, with full and equal rights for children raised by a same-sex couple.

At the same time, however, the government does not intend to legislate the right for medically assisted reproduction through a surrogate mother.

Mitsotakis had announced from the beginning of his term that the bill would come within four years, but the question is why he decided to bring the bill before the European elections.

Among the reasons are the results of focus groups seen by the government that show limited to non-existent electoral costs.

Despite the fact that various polling companies have conducted surveys on the issue, American pollster Stanley Greenberg was enlisted to conduct specific focus groups.

They found that Greek society has changed compared to the past and is much more receptive to same-sex marriage than it was.

In particular, those who declare themselves to be centrist voters, Mitsotakis’ key audience, show particular tolerance on such issues.

As for center-right and right-wing voters – who have a more negative stance on the issue – a key conclusion is that even if they are opposed, this will not, except for a small minority, affect their vote. Simply put, the bill is not going to have an electoral cost for New Democracy.

Another reason is that voters of far-right parties are expected to be totally opposed to the bill whenever it is tabled – either now or after the European elections.

The rationale is to also show, and not displease the centrist public, that the government is not caving in to pressure from the far-right.

The bottom line is that Mitsotakis had more to gain by bringing it forward from the autumn.

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