Greek Supreme Court  challenges civil marriage between homosexuals

Greek Supreme Court  challenges civil marriage between homosexuals

Athens, March 17, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

The Supreme Court judge Char. Maxairas, as it became known, will argue before the A1 Political Department of the Supreme Court that “there is no legal basis for a civil marriage between homosexuals” and will recommend to not negate the judgment of the Court of Appeals of Dodecanese, which ruled as non-existent the marriage celebrated in Tilos in 2008 between two homosexual women.

The Supreme Court was to discuss the appeal of the homosexual couple against the decision, but for formal reasons it was postponed to next November.

As it became known, the Supreme Court judge-rapporteur of the case, Mr Maxairas, will argue during the hearing that the provisions of the Civil Code and the applicable legislation do not permit a civil marriage between same-sex couples.

Specifically, Mr Mahairas will give five legal reasons as to why civil marriage between same-sex couples is illegal.

In particular, the five reasons Mr Maxairas will invoke are:

“1) Under the legal status of the Civil Code (CC), the diversity of the two genders of the newlyweds is considered evident (see Article 1350 et al). From these provisions it is made clear that the CC recognises marriage only between heterosexuals. Furthermore, the reference to the provisions of the Civil Code, in “wives” and “newlyweds” does not lead to the conclusion that it was done to demonstrate that henceforth it “recognises” civil marriage between homosexuals, but rather that this phraseology adopted for technical legal reasons.

2) This is also reinforced by the explicit reference to recent legislation, the Law 3719/2008 – partnership agreement – where in Article 1 of it there is an explicit use of the concept of “heterosexuals”.

3) From Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), there is no catalytic argument in favour of recognizing civil marriage between homosexuals, since it also makes a distinction between the two sexes.

4) Similarly, in Article 23 par. 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (DSAPA).

5) The European case law judges and is expressly in favour of the expansion of the concept of the family and inter-sex (Strasbourg, etc.), but has not explicitly ruled on the method this will be realised, ie for example with what legal arrangement, such as a partnership agreement or something else”.

Consequently, says the judge, under Greek legal status “there cannot be a civil marriage between homesexuals”.

Finally, Mr Maxairas believes that there is the need to introduce an explicit legal provision of marriage between same homosexuals, as is already provided in ten European countries.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of homosexual couple, Vasilis Cheirdaris, in response to the recommendation of Mr Machairas issued the following statement:

“The case of marriages of same sex who will be tried in the Supreme Court gives the opportunity to our Supreme Court to abandon the introspection in its case law and proceed to an interpretation of the legislation that will be in accordance with current events and the changes that have occurred in morals and society”.