About 162 gay couples appealed against the Greek state for their exclusion from the cohabitation agreement. They have complained about a continuing discrimination against lesbian and gay couples despite Greece’s previous condemnation by the European Court.
Eight months ago, in November 2013, the European Court of Human Rights had condemned Greece for discrimination against same-sex couples.
The couples not only complained about the legislative gap, but also about the regression of the Greek state that continues to keep them outside the legal framework. More specifically they claimed that the Minister of Justice had originally stated the country would comply with the decision of the European Court but the next day he backed off after pressure by members of the New Democracy and the Church of Greece.
According to the European Court of Justice, out of 19 countries that have integrated legal forms for the union of couples into their law, only Lithuania and Greece have excluded homosexual couples from this legal protection.
Conservative members of the government as well as the Church of Greece strongly oppose the cohabitation agreement and especially the inclusion of homosexual couples.
Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus has threatened to excommunicate any member of the Greek Parliament who votes for the amendment to include same-sex couples in the cohabitation agreement as he believes that it is an “insult against God and man.”