LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Greece proposes civil partnership rights for all

The Greek government has signalled its intention to legislate for civil partnership rights for all couples, almost 18 months after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Greece must widen its civil partnership law to include same sex couples.

This announcement is very encouraging and ILGA-Europe are pleased to see that Greece is finally taking steps to implement the ECtHR’s decision, handed down in November 2013. It is also indicative of the equality progress being made in the region as the Cypriot government approved a long-awaited civil partnership bill in early May 2015. Malta has also blazed a trail for equality measures in recent months, legalising civil unions for all couples in addition to its advances on legal gender recognition and constitutional protection from discrimination. 

It is worth remembering that while this is an encouraging start to the legislative process, there are still many procedural hurdles left to jump. The bill has been proposed by Syriza and is expected to come before the parliament for discussion later in the summer. ILGA-Europe encourage Greek policymakers to engage fully in the debate to ensure the civil partnership law is as inclusive as possible.

All the staff and board members of ILGA-Europe are eagerly awaiting the 2015 Annual Conference, which takes place in Athens from 28 – 31 October. We hope that the bill’s provisions will be strengthened in the intervening months, ensuring that maximum rights are provided for all couples living in Greece. In the meantime, we will continue to support our Greek member organisations and look forward to celebrating the passage of this bill.