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Marriage Equality

Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Unions

Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Unions

AP PHOTO

Despite opposition from religious leaders and right-wing members of the ruling coalition, the government overwhelmingly approved civil partnerships.

Greece's parliament voted 193 to 56 to approve same-sex civil unions following a fiery 10-hour debate, reported Politico.

Outside the government building, civil rights marchers held banners declaring "Love is the Law" and "All I want for Christmas is Equality."

But opponents, including the Orthodox Church, refused to yield in their virulent campaign to prevent the measure from becoming law.

Antigay bishops railed against the vote, with Amvrosios of Kalavryta ordering churches to ring funeral bells "in mourning" and Seraphim of Piraeus blaming the bill on Jews. Seraphim declared the measure was a result of the "constant war against the true faith" being waged "by the international Zionist monster," which he claimed controls the government.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the bishop has a disturbing record of anti-Semitic comments, claiming in 2010 that Jews orchestrated the Holocaust and were behind Greece's financial crisis.

Greece is one of the last European Union states to legalize civil unions. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2012 that the country discriminated against same-sex couples by denying them tax, pension and inheritance rights.

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