Redefining transgender rights is a divisive topic in Greece.
The Greek parliament has voted into law a bill allowing people to change their gender identity from the age of 15 without medical treatment. Of the 285 MPs present, 147 voted in favour of changing the law.
The divisive proposal was put forward by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ leftist Syriza Party. In a scathing swipe at the opposition, he said it the change was a question of human rights.
“Staying in Europe does not mean only applying austerity measures. As the opposition, you choose Europe for its austerity, but on human rights you choose to be anachronistic, you choose to be very conservative. In both cases, you make the worst choice”, said Tsipras.
While welcomed by the LGBT community and others, it has come under fire from the Orthodox Church, the opposition and even some within the ruling coalition.
The bill says that changing legal gender is a matter of personal choice and should not be contingent on medical tests, therapies or surgeries.
A demonstration in favour of changing the law took place in Athens.
“We try to put our ear plugs on against all those voices that have mistreated us in an unbelievable way since way too long, but it’s too difficult. When you are carrying all those experiences inside and you listen to all that noise, everything wakes up. We had to be here, we had to respond”, said activist Anna Kouroupou.