Greek Church Denounces
Gay Marriage Call

The Greek-American Herald

The Greek Orthodox Church has declared open on war on the country's opposition party for supporting same-sex marriage.

Recently the leftist Synaspismos Coalition committed itself to support same-sex marriage. Party leader Alekos Alavanos made the promise in a meeting with LGBT activists in Athens.

Alavanos said that the coalition backs the fight against all kinds of discrimination and supports the free expression of sexual orientation including the legalization of same-sex marriages.

A top Orthodox bishop is leading the assault on gays. Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki said Alavanos' support amounts to "impudence and shame"

"Gay people warp human nature with unspeakable, unnatural acts," the bishop said.

Alavanos said he expressed the reaction from the Church. The Greek Orthodox Church is the state religion and wields considerable power. The government of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis also opposes same-sex marriage.

But, in February a quasi Government agency told the government to create a civil unions registry.

The National Human Rights Committee proposed a registry that would cover both same-sex couples and unmarried heterosexual ones. The committee, which advises the prime minister and government called for "the legal recognition ofa real symbiotic relationship between homosexuals."

The Committee report was handed over to the Justice Ministry but there has been little progress in implementing the report.

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