(AFP) – Mar 13, 2008
ATHENS (AFP) — A pair of Greek Lesbians will next week try to be the country's first same-sex couple to marry in a civil ceremony, exploiting a loophole in the law, a leading gay rights group said Thursday.
The two will try to tie the knot under a 1982 law that does not specify that a civil union must involve a man and a woman, said Evanguelia Vlami of Greece's main homosexual association, Olke.
The ceremony is to take place in the Kessariani quarter of Athens by a mayor who belongs to the radical left-wing Syriza party, Vlami said.
"I have no objection to celebrating this union so long as the law is respected," the mayor, Spyros Tzokas, told the Ta Nea daily.
Had the mayor refused, gay activists would have taken their marriage petition to Greece's Council of State, veteran homosexual rights campaigner Grigoris Vallianatos told AFP.
The wedding announcement comes a day after Olke announced it would appeal to the government for gays to marry and adopt legally -- and denounce as unlawful a draft bill recognising only heterosexual unions.
Greek gay activists claim the government marriage legislation violates the European human rights convention, and Vallianatos said the lesbian union was a preemptive move against the bill
The Greek government has steadfastly opposed gay marriage in the past and bars gays from its military.
Still, homosexuals have sought greater visibility and voice in recent years, holding the country's first Gay Pride event in 2005.
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