NEWS

Any MPs who vote for same-sex unions will be excommunicated, senior cleric says

A senior Orthodox cleric has attacked plans to extend legislation allowing unmarried couples to have their partnership legally recognized to same-sex couples and warned that any MPs who decide to back the measure will be excommunicated.

In a nine-page statement issued on Wednesday, Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus condemned alleged efforts to make “this terrible sin of homosexuality, sodomy, unnatural sexual intercourse, pederasty and paedophilia appear as normal behavior, as mere diversity.”

He said that any other relationship, barring that between a male and a female, “is a unnatural aberration not even observed in animals.”

Seraphim has courted controversy in the past with homophobic and anti-Semitic comments.

A ruling by the European Court of Human Rights earlier this month condemned Greece for excluding gays from civil partnerships. The court ruled that Greece had not offered “convincing and weighty reasons” to justify excluding gays.

The ruling followed an appeal by four Greek same-sex couples who claimed a 2008 law violated their rights and constituted unjustified discrimination.

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