The Greek parliament has approved a much debated bill which now legalises civil partnerships for same-sex couples in a vote strongly backed by the governing leftist Syriza party, despite stiff opposition from the Greek Orthodox Church. The legislation grants same-sex couples the option of having civil partnerships, which would give them marriage rights but not necessarily the right to adopt children.
"This is an important day for human rights. This ends a period of backwardness and shame for the state, which led to our country receiving international rulings against it. Instead of celebrating, though, maybe we should apologise to hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens that have been denied their rights all these years," said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who many see as the pivotal force behind the change.