This week a Greek public holiday including a traditional religious ceremony was attended by gay activists who used a kiss-in to protest against an ultra-conservative bishop.

The Epiphany was held in Piraeus, where gay couples staged a kiss-in in protest against the Orthodox Christian Bishop Seraphim, and handed out leaflets which read: “Love is not a sin.”

The Greek Government was represented at the celebration.

Seraphim recently threatened to excommunicate any officials in his diocese who support measures to legalise same-sex civil partnerships.

He incorrectly said any other relationship than opposite-sex couples “is a unnatural aberration not even observed in animals.”

There are around 1,500 species which show homosexual behaviour.

Greece’s ban on same-sex couples from entering civil unions violates the European Convention of Human Rights, the European court ruled. On Thursday 7 November 2013, the European Court of Human Rights declared that excluding same-sex couples from any type of legal recognition was wrong.

Greece also in November announced the legislation to legally recognise cohabiting same-sex couples.