Greece passes gender-change law opposed by Orthodox church

By Helena Smith

Greece’s leftwing government has passed legislation enabling citizens to determine their gender identity amid fierce condemnation from the Orthodox church and accusations the law would “destroy human beings”.

After two days of highly charged debate, the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, rallied parliament to endorse policies that would permit people to legally change their gender on all official documents without undergoing sterilisation.

The law, which was passed with 171 votes in favour and 114 against, had exposed political divisions and entrenched beliefs in one of Europe’s most socially conservative societies. It will allow trans individuals to affirm their desired gender from the age of 15 and brings Greece in line with most EU member states.

“No tradition, no religion, no perception of family requires citizens to remain on the margins or be pushed into institutional and social oblivion,” Tsipras told MPs before the vote.

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