The influential Greek Orthodox Church has condemned a decision to allow same-sex couples to foster children in need.
Last week, the Greek parliament voted to allow all couples who have signed a cohabitation agreement to become foster parents. The majority of MPs voted in favour of the law, with 161 voting yes to 103 against.
LGBTI groups in Greece celebrated the decision, but the Greek church hit out against it.
The Greek Orthodox Permanent Holy Synod is made up of 12 high-ranking church officials who act as its highest authority.
It released a statement saying it ‘states its strong opposition to the choice of the State to deprive certain children of the right to grow up in a normal family environment, with father and mother role models’.
‘It is not by chance that until today the Greek people continue to trust the family as one of its basic values. Unfortunately, ‘political correctness’ prevailed once again, against the natural order and the interests of children,’ the statement read.
This is about love
During the debate on the issue Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras argued ‘the state owes this to our fellow citizens who wish to perform the most human [expression] of our nature: to offer and receive love’.
‘The major issue today is the state’s stance before children deprived of the opportunity to live a normal life, and growing up in institutions,’ he said.
‘(These) children who until now were unfortunately invisible to the state [are] the children of a lesser God, deprived of the right to live and grow up in a home, in a family.’
In 2015, Greece approved civil unions for same-sex couples and last year removed the need for trans people to undergo surgery to officially change their gender. But the LGBTI community in Greece faces high levels of discrimination and is the victim of the most violence of any group in the country.