Athens, February 3, 2021

PRESS RELEASE

Subject: «The unacceptable offending statements of the Minister of Justice against the LGBTQI families and not only, necessitate his immediate removal»

The Greek Transgender Support Association (GTSA), is a voluntary non-governmental organization for the rights and freedoms of trans, gender-diverse and LGBTI persons in general, with this press release,strongly condemns the unacceptable statements of the Minister of Justice with which he offends the LGBTQI people and their families, while he characterizes as “deviant” even children who grow up either in single-parent families or children whose parents have divorced.

Specifically, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Tsiaras, stated in a TV show that: “All scientific studies point to the fact that children who grow up with the physical presence of binary gender and with both parents are children with less psychological problems, are children with little or no deviations, they are children who adapt more easily to modern society.

It is necessary to comment on these:

1. This statement is completely wrong, false and is not based on absolutely any scientific evidence, as, contrary to what he said, all modern scientific studies converge that the well-being and development of children is in no way related to the gender of parents. Rather, it is related to the interest, care and love they receive.

2. This statement offends, defames, abuses and promotes discrimination against:

a) Single-parent families, whose rights are guaranteed by Greek Civil Law,

b) Families of divorced parents,

c) Families who for any reason, one of the two parents – is needed, either for work or other serious reasons, to be absent either for a short or long period of time, and often do so with severe deprivation for to raise their children,

d) The LGBTQI families, which, unfortunately, the Greek legislation, refuses to recognize their rights, both of their parents and their children, and nevertheless exist in our country and are called in an environment of discrimination to raise their children.

In particular regarding the LGBTQI families we should note that:

1. In accordance with Council of Europe Decision 14620 of 21 September 2016, Member States should:[1],

4.5. protect the rights of parents and children in rainbow families without discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and accordingly

4.5.1. in line with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, ensure that all rights regarding parental authority, adoption by single parents and simple or second-parent adoption are granted without discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity

4.5.2. provide for joint adoption by same-sex couples without discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation ·

4.5.3. extend automatic co-parent recognition to the same-sex partner·

4.5.4. where single women (or persons) are granted access to medically assisted procreation, ensure that such access is granted without discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity·

4.5.5. where unmarried different-sex couples are granted access to medically assisted procreation, ensure that such access is granted to same-sex couples ·

4.6. in addition to the recommendations already adopted by the Assembly in Resolution 2048[2015][2] and Resolution 2191[2017][3] regarding the effects of legal gender recognition of transgender and intersex people on their access to or the continuity of their civil partnership or marriage and of rights of spouses and children, provide for transgender parents’ gender identity to be correctly recorded on their children’s birth certificates, and ensure that persons who use legal gender markers other than male or female are able to have their partnerships and their relationships with their children recognized without discrimination

4.7. work actively, in consultation with civil society, to promote acceptance of and respect for rainbow families in our societies.

2. According to all the scientific studies that have been conducted for children growing up in LGBTQ families: According to a recent analysis of 79 scholarly studieson [4] the well-being of children with gay or lesbian parents, 75 of these studies had found that children of gay or lesbian parents fared no worse than other children. These studies had used standard research methods in the fields of sociology and psychology; while some had small sample sizes, this meant that there was a limit to how far they could be generalised, but did not invalidate their findings. Moreover, a 2010 study on the school advancement of 3.500 children with same-sex parents had found no significant differences between these families and families with different-sex parents. Another study in this group had been based on nationally representative, longitudinal data using a sampling pool of over 20.000 children, of which 158 lived in a household with same-sex parents. Only four of the total of 79 academic studies had concluded that children of gay or lesbian parents faced added disadvantages. However, all of these four studies focused on children who had experienced additional situations that were not related to their parents’ gender, and therefore these four studies have been considered as unreliable by many scholars. In short, this comparative research of 79 on the subject,that there exists an overwhelming scholarly consensus, through more than 30 years of peer-reviewed research, that having gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or trans parents is not harmful to children.[5].

Contrary to all the above, the Minister of Justice, with what he said, and especially characterizing in all the above cases as “deviant” and children with mental disorders, spreads fake news, makes false negative propaganda against persons who are discriminated against, offends, defames, abuses and brutally insults families and their children in general, and in fact as much as he is – not just any politician or minister – but a Minister in charge of human rights, which in his position he should promote, while it is interesting that a Minister of Justice confuses parental responsibility with joint custody.

Furthermore, we must remind that the Minister of Justice, unjustifiably and completely abusive as the legal process of legal recognition of gender identity according to the provisions of Law 4491/2017 takes place in a private office and not in an open court and therefore without any real risk to public health, has ruled out legal jurisdiction for legal recognition due to the pandemic. The GTSA, in addition to the relevant press release issued on 11.11.2020, sent a letter to the Minister of Justice, which never responded, stressing that this completely unjustified decision, on the contrary, exacerbates the discrimination against trans people by prolonging the period of change of their documents in violation of European standards for the rights of trans people, which require fast procedures.

After all this, we consider it more than necessary for his immediate removal from the Prime Minister, as it is inconceivable for the Minister of Justice to offend in such a way children as “deviant” or with psychological problems, as well as their families. A letter to the Honorable Prime Minister will follow on this issue, setting out in detail the arguments calling for his immediate removal.

At the same time, we call on the Government to make the necessary amendments in Family Law as soon as possible in order to extend the right to marriage, joint custody, adoption, assisted reproduction and surrogation to all couples, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.

THE BOARD OF MEMBERS

GREEK TRANSGENDER SUPPORT ASSOCIATION

79 Sygrou Street, 3rd floor, Athens, 11745

Tel. 210.9210697

Office hours: Monday to Friday

09.00-14.00 & 17.00-20.00

http://www.tgender.grhttp://www.transgender-association.gr/

contact@tgender.grtransgender.support.association@gmail.com

….

[1] http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-en.asp?fileid=25048&lang=en

[2] https://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-EN.asp?fileid=21736

[3] https://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-en.asp?fileid=24232&lang=en

[4] Βλέπε για παράδειγμα Knight K. W. et al. (2017), “The kids are OK: it is discrimination, not same-sex parents, that harms children”, Medical Journal of Australia (MJA), 207 (9), 6 Νοεμβρίου 2017; Hočevar A. (2014), “Children in rainbow families”, Ljetopis socijalnog rada 2014, 21 (1), σσ. 85-104 str; και τις πηγές που αναφέρονται εκεί.

[5] Cornell University What We Know Public Policy Research Portal, “What does the scholarly research say about the well-being of children with gay or lesbian parents?”, ενημερώθηκε τον Δεκέμβριο 2017: https://whatweknow.inequality.cornell.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/PDF-Parenting-wellbeing-1.pdf. Βλέπε επίσης Gross M. (2015), “Gay, lesbian and trans families through the lens of social science: A revolution or a pluralisation of forms of parenthood?”, Enfance, familles, generations 23 (2015), σ. 84.