Jun 4, 2008

Nothing like a June wedding...

Despite the reactions of Greek Supreme Court prosecutor G.Sanidas and the mandate of Rhodes (regional) Court Prosecutor to disallow any marriage ceremony between same sex couples by the Mayor of Tilos, the two gay weddings took place normally.

Well... "normally" is a metaphor, since both couples, their witnesses, the mayor of Tilos and I assume the concierge who has the keys to the town hall had to get up at the crack of dawn for the nuptials to avoid media hype and any organized angry public protesters that would ruin this momentous day. Rumors had begun days before, with publications in the media and confirmed by a press conference on 29 May that the first gay marriages in Greece were to be officiated.

Unsurprisingly, most Greek Orthodox priests are having a heyday on news programs, ranting about the sinning and unnaturalness of same sex couples, shoving their flock's heads in the sand about equal rights for all, the same rights as heterosexuals. I heard, Grigoris Vallianatos, a pioneer for LGBT rights, (and I quote loosely, apologies to Mr.Vallianatos) "In Greece everyone will try to stop the first gay marriage, the status quo will attempt to wreak havoc at first, lawsuits will be filed but they will be won, and all will be well in the end, because that is how things function in Greece".

The struggle for Greek society's acceptance of homosexuals, lesbians and transexuals on all levels isn't over - not by a long shot. Today's first Greek gay marriages is, however, a major milestone in having climbed another rung in the ladder of civil rights.

This Saturday (June 8th), in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots of June 1969, the 4th annual Athens Pride Festival will take place at Klathmonos Square.

Methinks June is now officially the Greek LGBT awareness month.

If you want to hear the Mayor of Tilos' officiation of the ceremony you can listen to it here in Greek via the blog of one of the couple's witnesses, M.Dionellis, reporter for "Sto Kokkino" (he is the guy with black shirt in the photo).