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Greek parliament approves legalisation of same-sex civil marriage

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Greek parliament on Thursday approved the legalisation of same-sex civil marriage, an achievement despite resistance from the influential Greek Orthodox Church.

Polls showed that the majority of Greeks were in favour of the bill drawn up by the centre-right government and supported by four center and left-wing parties.

For Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis it's a breakthrough.“Today is a day of joy because starting tomorrow another barrier between us is removed to create a bridge of coexistence in a free state with free citizens," said Mitsotakis before the voting.Supporters, waving rainbow banners, and opponents of the bill, holding religious icons and praying, held separate small, peaceful gatherings outside parliament on Thursday.The bill would confer full parental rights on married same-sex partners with children.

But it precludes gay couples from parenthood through surrogate mothers in Greece — an option currently available to women who can't have children for health reasons.The governing Holy Synod of senior bishops sent letters to all lawmakers outlining its objections.

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