Key research crucial to same-sex marriage bill in Greece

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Goldsmiths academic Dr Panagiotis Pentaris has played a crucial role in the development of the newly passed same-sex marriage bill in Greece, which has been informed by his work surrounding the rights of Greek LGBTQ+ families.

A Pride march in Athens passes by the Greek parliament.

A Pride march in Athens passes by the Greek parliament. Credit: Camerawalker, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Greek parliament passed a landmark bill legalising same-sex marriage, a first for an Orthodox Christian country. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children, following a 176-76 vote in parliament on Thursday 15 February.

Dr Pentaris, who is based in our Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies, was the first person to provide data specifically on the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ parents in Greece, through conducting a large study across the country. Until now, there has been no data on this topic from the government Census or elsewhere.

He said: “One of the key challenges for many parliamentarians and policymakers has been around the lack of data surrounding LGBTQ+ families in Greece. The study focused on harvesting all that and developing relationships, it was a helpful medium that brought together a very large group of activists, LGBTQ+ parents in Greece that are now influencing so many different sectors.”

Dr Pentaris has produced a social policy report, submitted to the Greek parliament in October 2023. He has met with MPs and their offices to support their understanding of the need to support the bill, supporting the scientific part of the conversation about how the bill comes to meet basic human rights.

Panagiotis is also the scientific lead for Rainbow Families in Greece, supporting LGBTQ+ parents in their presence and visibility in the public domain.

He is currently working on a second study, of 10,000 participants looking at political homophobia and religious abuse in light of LGBTQ+ rights and using political or religious views to abuse, exclude or nullify particular parts of the population.