LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Greek government commits to laws promoting LGBTI equality at the ILGA-Europe Annual Conference in Athens

Photo credit - Christina Georgiadou

In an unprecedented show of political support for the rights of LGBTI people, representatives from all the main parliamentary parties signed an equality pledge in Athens today (Friday, 30 October 2015).


Representatives from Syriza, PASOK, New Democracy, DIMAR, The River and Enosi Kentroon signed a pledge stating their commitment to registered partnership, family law reform, legal gender recognition and combating discrimination in Greece. This joint pledge followed an in-depth panel debate at ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference. The highlight of this debate was the Minister for Justice Nikos Paraskevopoulos’ committment to the adoption of the long-awaited civil partnership bill, together with other legislative measures, as the outcome of a process that will begin with a public consultation next week.

On top of the potential legislative advances mentioned in the pledge, the political representatives also noted their support for diversity and sex education in schools and the need to confront homophobic bullying in schools.

ILGA-Europe are encouraged by this political consensus on the issue of equality for LGBTI people. Close to 500 participants from 53 countries were able to witness these commitments and will be looking forward to actual progress in laws and policies in Greece.

“There was a palpable sense of urgency in the room today. With the backing of all major political parties, the Greek authorities have a mandate and responsibility to improve the legal and policy situation for LGBTI people in the country. We trust that the Greek government will prioritise the promises it has made at our Conference.”  commented ILGA-Europe Co-Chair, Paulo Corte Real.

“Next week’s public consultation is a very important first step towards full equality. It covers civil partnership for all couples, removes articles of the penal code that discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, and improves hate crime legislation. We are moved by the impact this legislation will have on the lives of so many LGBTI people in Greece and look forward to celebrating the passage of these new laws with our friends and allies in Europe.” said Head of the Board of OLKE, Panagiotis Damaskos.