Greece passes gender-change law opposed by Orthodox church

Oct 11, 2017

By Helena Smith

Greece’s leftwing government has passed legislation enabling citizens to determine their gender identity amid fierce condemnation from the Orthodox church and accusations the law would “destroy human beings”.

After two days of highly charged debate, the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, rallied parliament to endorse policies that would permit people to legally change their gender on all official documents without undergoing sterilisation.

The law, which was passed with 171 votes in favour and 114 against, had exposed political divisions and entrenched beliefs in one of Europe’s most socially conservative societies. It will allow trans individuals to affirm their desired gender from the age of 15 and brings Greece in line with most EU member states.

“No tradition, no religion, no perception of family requires citizens to remain on the margins or be pushed into institutional and social oblivion,” Tsipras told MPs before the vote.

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2 comments on “Greece passes gender-change law opposed by Orthodox church

  • Good job, Greece. Christianity doesn’t respect human beings. They think biology dictates who you are. As if we are just a pile of molecules. And they call me a materialist.

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  • There is a rather mixed situation in India!

    An Indian naval officer who underwent sex change surgery has been discharged from service.

    “The individual chose to undergo irreversible gender reassignment on his own accord, whilst on leave wilfully altering his gender status from the one he was recruited for at the time of his induction,” a navy statement on her sacking said.

    An Indian Court ruled in 2012 that there was no legal bar to an adult man having a sex change surgery. And in a landmark ruling in 2014, India’s Supreme Court also recognised transgender people as a third gender.

    But legal experts say that transgender people in India are in a strange situation: on the one hand, they are legally recognised and protected under the Constitution, but on the other hand they may have been judged to be breaking the law if they have consensual gay sex.

    According to a 153-year-old colonial-era law, a same-sex relationship is an “unnatural offence” and punishable by a 10-year jail term.

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