"If the Tilos mayor proceeds, he will have committed the criminal act of 'breach of duty," said Supreme Court prosecutor on Friday
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
ATHENS, June 3, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Defying the laws of his country and the precepts of the Greek Orthodox Church, mayor Tassos Alfieris of the eastern Aegean island of Tilos, "married" two homosexuals and two lesbians on the weekend.
Mr. Alfieris conducted the proceedings despite Greece's top prosecutor having issued a directive to prosecutors on the island of Rhodes, the administrative capital for an island group that includes Tilos, saying that same-sex weddings were illegal. The directive states that marriage between same-sex couples would be "automatically nullified and considered illegal."
"If the Tilos mayor proceeds, he will have committed the criminal act of 'breach of duty'," Supreme Court prosecutor George Sanidas warned on Friday.
The Greek constitution contains a section that protects family rights by defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. In March 2008, however, a Greek lesbian organization discovered a loophole in a 26-year-old law that does not specify gender in civil weddings. The same-sex "weddings" are being used to test this law.
Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis also said he believes gay “marriages” should not take place. "This is not possible. It would not be legal," he told state-run NET television.
The Greek Orthodox Church has worked tirelessly in promoting the culture of life and has spoken boldly against societal changes that undermine the family and seek to "overthrow the natural and ethical order."
The Church of Greece's Holy Synod declared its opposition to the Greek government's bid to give unmarried couples greater rights by stating that any form of relationship other than a heterosexual married couple is tantamount to "prostitution."
Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki, a member of the Synod, said that the draft law outlining cohabitation rights constituted a "catastrophic bomb" being placed under the foundations of Greek society. "The Church accepts and blesses the established wedding, according to Orthodox traditions, and considers any other type of similar relationship to be prostitution," the Synod said in a statement.
In a related story, campaigners on the Greek island of Lesbos are going to court in an attempt to stop a homosexual rights organization from using the term "lesbian".
LifeSiteNews.com reported in April that Lesbos publisher Dimitris Lambrou has spearheaded a lawsuit against the Greek Gay and Lesbian Union (GGLU) for its use of the word "lesbian", claiming that international dominance of the word in its sexual context violates the human rights of the islanders, and disgraces them around the world.
"The Greek government is so embarrassed by the term Lesbian that it has been forced to rename the island after its capital, Mytilini," Mr. Lambrou explained.
"Our geographical designation has been usurped by certain ladies who have no connection whatsoever with Lesbos," said Mr. Lambrou. "My sister can't say she is a Lesbian."
The island's campaigners say that if they are successful in Greek court they may start to fight the word lesbian internationally.
"The issue boils down to who has the right to call themselves Lesbians," contended Mr. Lambrou. "Is it homosexual women, or the 100,000 people living on Greece's third biggest island - plus another 250,000 expatriates who originate from Lesbos?"
See previous LifeSiteNews.com article:
Residents of Island of Lesbos are the Only Real 'Lesbians' - Suit Launched over Use of Term http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08043006.html
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