Press Release for marriage equality

On February 15, 2024, the Greek Parliament’s approval of marriage equality, with cross-party consensus from the entire democratic spectrum, marked a historic day for the LGBTQI+ community as well as for the parliamentary life of our country. As active citizens, Thessaloniki Pride welcomes this move, congratulates, and thanks all individuals and bodies that worked and supported this reform.

With the passing of this law, the path has been opened for solving numerous problems of families formed by same-sex couples and our children, who, while living and existing within the social fabric, were until now invisible in the eyes of the law. Beyond families, it is also a symbolic gesture for all LGBTQI+ people in our country towards not being considered second-class citizens and not feeling that our homeland pushes us to leave for other countries with greater acceptance of LGBTQI+ individuals. Not to forget, of course, that on a broader international level, this reform aligns us with the strongest democracies and the most prosperous societies, allowing Greece to change its narrative, which is much needed after the years of crisis, and to prove itself as a confident force, not one of fear, leading in the SE European region, with a strong democracy that does not leave any of its citizens behind.

Despite the deficiencies and technical imperfections we pointed out during the public consultation, the law for marriage equality represents an emblematic reform and adds to the significant steps of equality, equal treatment, and equal citizenship, such as the establishment of women’s suffrage, the abolition of dowry, the decriminalization of adultery, the establishment of civil marriage, and other major milestones in the process of modernizing our society.

The recognition of the right to marriage for everyone coincides with the year Thessaloniki will host EuroPride 2024 (June 21-29), the central and most significant LGBTQI+ event on the European continent. This coincidence gives us the opportunity to internationally present our country as a model of good practice, a safe and friendly destination, as well as a source of inspiration for other LGBTQI+ communities across Europe who are fighting for a better future, especially where they encounter difficulties.