Athens, 30 January 2024


Subject: «The proposals of GTSA on the Draft Law of the Ministry of State entitled: “Equality in civil marriage, amendment of the Civil Code and other provisions”»

«The proposals of GTSA on the Draft Law of the Ministry of State entitled: “Equality in civil marriage, amendment of the Civil Code and other provisions”»

The Greek Transgender Support Association (GTSA), , is a voluntary non-governmental organization that promotes the rights and freedoms of trans, gender-diverse, and LGBTQI persons in general, with this press release welcomes the filing of the Draft Law of the Ministry of State submitted to the public consultation entitled: “Equality in civil marriage, amendment of the Civil Code and other provisions” as equality in marriage and everything that derives from it was and is a fundamental claim both for the community of LGBTQI+ persons, as well as for equal treatment in our country and the abolition of discrimination, but at the same time submits its observations – proposals for the improvement of the Draft Law and the achievement of full equality.

Specifically, our observations per article are as follows:


Article 1 (Purpose).
This article abolishes discrimination based on gender/sex in marriage. Therefore, in the direction of the real inclusion of all persons, we consider it optimal to refer to marriage regardless of gender/sex rather than to persons of the same gender/sex, as is also stated in Article 1 of Law 4356/2015 (Civil partnership, exercise of rights, criminal and other provisions): […]The agreement between two adults, regardless of their gender/sex, by which they regulate their partnership (civil partnership) is drawn up in person with a notarized document[…].

Specifically, we propose the wording:

“This law aims to ensure the principle of equality, by extending the possibility of marriage to persons regardless of gender/sex, and to strengthen protection against discrimination, in the direction of the implementation of the National Strategy for the Equality of LGBTQI+.”

We consider this marking important, not only for terminology reasons, but also for substance connected with the essential purpose of the legislation under consideration, which concerns the consolidation of equal treatment and the abolition of existing discrimination with the aim of real equality.

Article 2 (Object).
With this article, the subject matter of this draft law is defined – specified. Therefore, in addition to the comment on Article 1 (marriage regardless of gender/sex against persons of the same gender/sex), here we consider it necessary to specify (we mean α’) that it is about removing existing discrimination due to gender/sex, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics or due to sexual orientation.
In particular, we propose the rewording of α’ as follows:

“a) the amendment of the Civil Code, in order to recognize the possibility of marriage by persons without discrimination on grounds of gender/sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics or sexual orientation.”

For exactly the same reasons, we propose the amendment of β’ so that in front of “same-gender/sex spouses and parents” to amend to “spouses and parents regardless of gender/sex”.


Article 3. Conditions for entering into marriage.
Precisely for the same reasons, we recommend against referring to persons of the same or opposite gender/sex, to persons regardless of gender/sex.


Article 6. Extension of benefits and privileges to same-gender/sex spouses and parents
Article 228 of the Individual Labor Law Code (P.D.80/2022, A΄ 222) is here very correctly added, regarding the special maternity protection leave and a new article 228A is added, so that spouses and parents are protected regardless of gender/sex and for it is precisely for these reasons that we propose – as in the previous articles – this reference: “spouses and parents regardless of gender/sex and gender identity” instead of “same-gender/sex spouses and parents”.

Article 7. Protection from dismissal.
For the same reasons as the previous article, we consider it accurate to refer to parents regardless of gender/sex.


Article 8. Extension of the principle of equal treatment.
We consider particularly positive the addition of this article to the draft law regarding the addition of sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity and sex characteristics to the relevant articles of the legislation on equal treatment (L. 4443/2016) in fields that were not included (health, social security and health care, education, access to the availability and provision of goods and services).

Nevertheless, our country responding both to modern developments and to the need for full equality, without discrimination – especially in the health sector – it is necessary to immediately proceed with the modification of the classification lists of mental disorders, in order to ensure that transgender/trans persons, including children shall not be stigmatized, according to the World Health Organization Decision on the revision of the international classification list , the Resolution of the European Parliament 22.11.2012 , the statement of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) on 15.11 .2017, and the position of the Branch of Intercultural Psychiatry of the Hellenic Psychiatric Association (HPA).

In the health sector as well, in addition to the necessity for our country to comply with the decisions of the World Health Organization and the immediate integration of the new ICD-11 classification list, it is more than necessary to take other special precautions with the aim of:

  1. ensuring that trans persons, regardless of whether they have changed their gender registration through Law 4491/2017, will have seamless and without violations of their privacy, access to health services, through changes that must be made to the information systems of the state, as indicatively in the Electronic Prescribing System, and every other positive action will be taken to remove any obstacle to the exercise of the right to full unhindered access to the health system,
  2. full access to the health system, without the categorization of “mental illness” due to gender expression, gender identity or sex characteristics, which should be noted as natural variations on the gender spectrum, including non-binary and intersex persons;
  3. the full insurance coverage of gender reassignment procedures,
  4. the amendment of Article 62 (Conversion Practices), par. 2 β, of Law 4931/2022, so that there is an explicit horizontal prohibition of any type of psychiatric or other practice that aims at “conversion”, “change” or ” redefining’ a person’s sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity;
  5. the amendment or repeal of provisions of the law, presidential decrees, ministerial decisions or circulars that stand in the way of the equal treatment of trans persons.


Article 9. Arrangements in cases of pre-existing same-gender/sex marriages performed abroad.
With this article, the valid marriages that have been performed abroad, of persons with Greek citizenship, regardless of gender/sex, are recognized as legal entities. We consider it necessary to add that these marriages should also be considered retroactively as legal entities. To this end, we propose the following rewording:

“1. Marriages of Greeks performed abroad with persons of the same gender/sex before the entry into force of this article in accordance with the law of the place of their performance are retroactively considered as legal entities from the moment they were performed in accordance with the written provisions.”


Although Article 12 of this draft law rightly abolishes the condition for trans persons not to be married which was illogically established under Law 4491/2017 (Legal Recognition of Gender Identity), we consider it more than necessary, imperative, to amend paragraph 5.2 of law which, although it stipulates that when families with trans parents have children, the parental relationships are not disrupted when a parent’s gender identity is legally recognized, however, the children’s birth certificates are not changed to match the gender of their parents. This creates particularly serious problems both for parents and especially for their children.

We therefore consider it necessary to add an Article (Article 13) as follows:

Article 13. Change of registry acts of children of trans parents.
Paragraph 2 of Article 5 of Law 4491/2017 is amended as follows:

“2. If the person who corrected the registered gender has children, either born in marriage, or born in civil partnership, or adopted, their parental rights and obligations are not affected. In the birth certificate of the children, the registration of the gender as well as the first name and the adapted surname of the parent are changed. “

In addition, although Law 4491/2017, regarding the legal recognition of gender identity, was a first positive step, it fails to meet the needs of our community, as it does not meet the international and European obligations of our country for the rights of transgender/trans and gender diverse persons.

The procedure remains judicial and this, in addition to all the problems of violation of privacy that have been recorded since the application of the law so far , does not correspond to Resolution 2048/2015 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, according to which the procedure must be fast, transparent, based solely on the person’s self-determination, and non-discriminatory. On the contrary, the judicial process is particularly time-consuming and bureaucratic, it is not based on self-determination as the change of documents is decided by a court, while it involves discrimination based on the financial situation of the person as it costs a lot of money and this is particularly problematic as our community faces discrimination and exclusions from the workplace. In fact, more and more countries are moving in this direction and it is necessary for our country to move in this direction as well. For these reasons, we propose the amendment of paragraph 1 of Article 4 of Law 4491/2017 as follows:

Article 4. – Procedure.
1. All persons who have exceeded the age of eighteen (18), invoking this law for the correction of their registered gender and first name, declare in writing, in person or through an authorized lawyer, at the relevant Registry Office: their gender , the first name chosen and the adapted relative surname. A copy of the person’s birth certificate is attached to the application.

Other Article additions.

1. In a series of articles of the Civil Code, in particular in Articles 17 and 19 to 23, which refer to parental rights and obligations (such as children born in marriage, civil partnership, mother or father relationships within or outside marriage, expansion of equalization relationships etc.) and concern parental relationships (father – mother), in the context of removing discrimination on grounds of gender/sex, gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics or sexual orientation, it is necessary not to interpret them restrictively because in the case of trans persons and if we really want equality, we should realize that for example a trans man may well become pregnant, therefore in this case the concept should be expanded to a person who becomes pregnant or, accordingly, a trans woman may fertilize the other party. All these cases must be included.
Likewise with other articles of the Civil Code (1463, 1464, 1465, 1466, 1467, 1469, 1470, 1471, 1472, 1475, 1476, 1477, 1479, 1480, 1481, 1482, 1483, 1502, 1503).

This can be achieved in two ways: either by amending all these articles one by one (as a model can be considered the proposed “Draft Law on the Marriage of LGBTQI+ persons” – Vasilis Sotiropoulos, 2020, Articles 3-8 and 11-19 ) , or alternatively with the addition of an article that will stipulate that the interpretations related to the gender/sex of the parents cannot be restrictive and consistent with the gender/sex, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics of the parents (see footnote no. 5).

2. In the relatively recent amendment of Article 1511 of the Civil Code (Exercise – assignment of parental care in the best interest of the child), sexual orientation was added to Article 18, par.3 of Law 4800/2021. For the sake of completeness it is necessary to also add gender expression, gender identity and sex characteristics.

Especially when we refer to the implementation of the National Strategy for the Equality of LGBTQI+, as already pointed out by Article 1 of the proposed draft law, this is necessary. Therefore, we consider it necessary to add an article as follows:

Article 3B. Exercise – Assignment of care in the best interest of the child.

Paragraph 3 of Article 1511 of the Civil Code is amended as follows:

“3. The court’s decision must also respect equality between parents and not discriminate on the grounds of, in particular, gender/sex, gender expression, gender identity or sex characteristics, sexual orientation, race, language, religion, politics or any other beliefs, nationality, national or social origin or property.”

3. Medically Assisted Reproduction (MAR) – Surrogate pregnancy.

First of all, we should note that MAR, and especially the possibility of resorting to surrogacy, is included in the conclusion of the Committee recommended by the Prime Minister and the Equality of LGBTQI+ . Although it is stated that: “On the issue of medically assisted reproduction (MAR), a proposal for a broader revision of the framework that would include both heterosexual and same-gender/sex couples would potentially exceed the mandate of this committee.”, it is added that: “It is pointed out, however, that in the context of an inclusive policy based on the principle of equality, the expansive interpretation of the condition of the inability to reproduce naturally – a condition that governs the regulation of the issue in general – would also cover persons in a same-gender/sex relationship.” Therefore, it is recognized by the Committee’s conclusion that such a regulation is within the framework of an inclusive policy based on the principle of equality.

In addition, we should note that the Greek legislation on MAR has been in force in our country since 2002 for heterosexual couples and was even expanded later, without anyone ever being concerned (or even without the concerns and strong objections that are raised today) and causes very impressed that there are such strong reactions when the topic was raised only now, when it was about non-heterosexual couples.

Therefore, on the one hand, it is not about “experiments” as mentioned by the Prime Minister in his interview , on the other hand, the “inclusive policy based on the principle of equality” which is highlighted by the conclusion of the Committee that he recommended, is not fulfilled, especially when universal ban on surrogacy, this constitutes discrimination on grounds of gender/sex and indirect discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
In addition, when it is allowed to recognize acts that have been done in another country, the state “turns a blind eye” to any couples or individuals who wish to proceed with such a thing (of course if they have the necessary money) to do it outside of Greece and subsequently to recognize their children with the provisions of the present and within our country.

In addition, here we should remind that according to Law 4491/2017, for the legal recognition of gender identity, no medical procedures are required, including surgical operations or hormones that exclude the fertility of the trans person. This means that the status of “mother” now coexists with the status of the pregnant transgender/trans man, as well as the status of “father” coexists with the status of the transgender/trans woman who has impregnated his/her spouse or partner . Therefore, also for this case, the relevant terminology should be adapted to include this possibility.

Therefore, following the spirit of equality, we consider it absurd from every point of view and at the same time discrimination not to include relevant provisions for expanding the possibility of MAR in our country regardless of gender/sex.

For this purpose, the provisions of Chapter Γ’, articles 4 to 8, of the proposed law submitted by SYRIZA – P.Α. could be adopted.

4. Finally, we consider it important to amend Article 1557 of the Civil Code, which refers to the social investigation before the act of adoption in relation to the capacity of the future parents. There we consider it more than necessary to add a paragraph stating that gender/sex, gender expression, gender identity, sex characteristics as well as sexual orientation cannot be criteria for adoption.
Specifically, we propose numbering 1 in the existing paragraph of Article 1557 and adding a second paragraph with the wording:

“Gender/sex, gender expression, gender identity, sex characteristics, as well as sexual orientation, race, language, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion and disability are not criteria of social research related to ability for adoption”.

Closing this press release, we express our satisfaction, as an important step towards equality for LGBTQI+ persons is finally being taken, part of which was the memorable President of our Association, Marina Galanou, who was a member of the Committee that drew up the Conclusion on LGBTQI+ Equality and contributed significantly to its writing, however we consider it necessary to examine our proposals with particular care, especially those concerning transgender/trans persons (change of documents of any children so that the registry acts are consistent with those of their parents, correct registration regarding the gender of trans parents without restrictive interpretation etc.).
The GTSA will continue to fight for the full legal recognition of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all our fellow human beings based on their gender expression, gender identity, sex characteristics and sexual orientation, in all areas of public and private life.



Trans Day Reception & Empowerment Center: Evangelistrias 6, Kallithea Athens, 17671
Tel. 210.9210 697 & 698 753 9741
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