Greek church ‘mourns’ passing of transgender-inclusive law
Churches in Greece rang their bells on Sunday to mark the beginning of a week-long protest against a new trans-inclusive law.
The law allows transgender people to change their legal gender via a simple declaration.
This is a radical improvement on prior laws which required trans people to have had gender reassignment surgery and to have undergone psychiatric assessment in order to change their gender marker.
However, according to the Associated Press, Greek Orthodox clerics have been instructed to ring their bells for three minutes every day at noon to protest the law being passed.
The bell ringing is being seen as a way to ‘mourn’ the new law.
According to Reuters, conservative lawmakers have dubbed the law “immoral” and “a monstrosity.”
The Kalavryta diocese released a statement, saying: “It is an outrageous inspiration for someone to change his gender in a few minutes, with a simple declaration, so contrary to what God has gifted people with – whoever has ‘gender dysphoria’ is mentally ill.”
“We do not hate the sinner, but the sin,” the statement added.
Kalavrytan clerics have previously condemned transgender people, along with homosexuality and “every kind of bestial deviation.”
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The clerics also warned that the legal acceptance of trans people in Greece may lead to the acceptance of same-sex marriages.
Conservative lawmaker Simos Kedikoglou spoke out against the new law and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s support.
“Your only goal is to stay in power,” he told the Prime Minister.
“You’ve found various methods of deception and this bill is the latest proof,” Kedikoglou added.
The clerics have also said that they will hang protest banners in Aigion – the largest city in Kalavryta – and demand that lawmakers revoke the “anti-Christian and anti-Greek” transgender law.
Prior to these new law changes, being transgender was viewed as a mental illness by Greek authorities.