Greek evangelicals among majority opposing ‘marriage’ status and adoption rights for same-sex couples

The Greek Evangelical Alliance defends the right of children to have a father and a mother. They perceive ideological pressure from Western European countries.

Joel Forster

ATHENS · 22 JANUARY 2024 · 11:42 CET

A LGBTQ+ Pride demonstration in front of the Greek national parliament, in Athens. / Photo: <a target="_blank" href="">Stavrialena Gontzou</a>, Unsplash, CC0.,
A LGBTQ+ Pride demonstration in front of the Greek national parliament, in Athens. / Photo: Stavrialena Gontzou, Unsplash, CC0.

Greece legalised same-sex partnerships in 2015 but now the Mediterranean country will give gay couples a marriage status which will allow them to adopt children.

It is the decision of prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (centre-right), whose plans are expected to succeed with the support of the radical leftist opposition party Syriza - whose leader Stefanos Kasselakis has said he and his gay partner hope they will soon also be allowed to have children through a surrogate mother.

The draft law as it stands would not yet allow surrogacy, a controversial practice banned in many European countries as it is seen as a way of exploiting women. But the new law pushed by the government will allow LGBTQ+ couples to adopt children.

It is the Greek Orthodox Church that has voiced the strongest voice against the legal redefinition of marriage. Furthermore, a recent official poll found that more Greeks opposed same-sex marriage (50%) than supported it (48%), and a larger majority was against extending full parental rights to gay or lesbian couples.


Evangelicals see pressure from the European Union

Also the small faith minority of evangelical Christians opposes the “destruction of the uniqueness and key definition of marriage”.

This is the opinion of Fotis Romeos, chairman of the Greek Evangelical Alliance. The law is “most probably going to be voted by our parliament with the support of the most conflicting political parties claiming allegedly humanitarian reasons of equality”, he told Evangelical Focus.     

In the debates, the prime minister has argued that other EU countries already have such laws. Pastor Romeos sees this discourse as a demonstration that such LGBTQ+ policies are “a direction given by the European Union”. Western countries are putting pressure on Greece to implement a view that is “definitely out of our ethical system”, he says.


Risk of “destroying marriage”

Among religious groups in Greece, not only the Orthodox Church opposes the government’s plans. Roman Catholics and free evangelical Christians also agree that the best for children is to have a father and a mother.

“We do believe that the Bible defines marriage as a physical relationship exclusively between a man and woman (Genesis 1:27 and 2:24), and children need both parents in order to grow in a balanced family life”, Fotis Romeos says.

“Of course we do believe and respect the freedom that people have to choose any lifestyle they wish, including their sexual orientation. However, we firmly believe that our God will judge all of us for our choices. We also embrace the fact that there are plenty of capable heterosexual couples without children who could offer a warm home to children who need adoption”.

The mistake, he continues, would be to “destroy the institution which is being founded so clearly in the law of nature and practically sustains the human race from the beginning of the creation”, pastor Romeos thinks.   

For new ways of relationships, new titles should be used, concludes the chair of the Greek Evangelical Alliance, without “touching the concept of marriage that secures current wellbeing and our future”.

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