Greece legalizes same-sex marriage, hopefully others follow

Greece has just become the 16th European Union country and first Orthodox Christian nation to legalize same-sex marriage and equal parental rights for same-sex couples.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis “told his cabinet last month that same-sex marriage was a matter of equal rights, noted that similar legislation was in place in more than 30 countries, and said that there should be no ‘second-class citizens’ or ‘children of a lesser God,’” as reported by The New York Times.

Although this is great history being made and Greece should be celebrated for their success, not all countries are following in these footsteps, one of them being Japan.

Since Feb. 14, 2019, activists and members of the LGBTQ+ community in Japan have protested for the legalization of same-sex marriage. This Valentine’s Day, people gathered in Tokyo to hand out candy and spread the word. 

Japan remains the last member of the Group of Seven nations to deny same-sex couples the right to lawfully wed due to their conservative views. Although 37 other countries have recognized marriage equality and recent studies show the Japanese public’s approval, the government “remains the main opposition to the campaign,” according to NBC News.

Same-sex marriage was legalized in the United States not even 10 years ago, and people seem to forget that not every country has the privilege that the United States has.

Even though Greece has made progress, the law still “does not provide same-sex couples with access to assisted reproduction or the option of surrogate pregnancies,” and “also does not give transgender people rights as parents,” as noted by The New York Times.

Here in the U.S., a parent’s gender status is seldom considered in cases of parental rights, two people of the same-sex getting married is pretty common and the only two states that are not surrogacy-friendly are New York and Michigan — and even that is expected to change soon.

For the past nine years, Americans in the LGBTQ+ community have been allotted their undeniable right to marry legally, but that does not mean the fight is over. We must continue to speak up for our fellow community members and help them in their journey to be allowed the rights we sometimes take for granted.

In the words of iconic actress Julianne Moore, “Everybody has the right to marry the person they love and be represented as a couple and family.”


Featured photo courtesy of RDNE Stock Project, Pexels