Rhodes court annuls same-sex marriages

A court on Rhodes yesterday annulled the country's first same-sex marriages, conducted last June on the island of Tilos, noting that state law includes no provisions for gay unions. The court on Rhodes, which has jurisdiction over all the Dodecanese islands, issued its ruling in response to appeals lodged by a local prosecutor against the two couples - two men and two women - and against Tilos Mayor Tassis Aliferis. The prosecutor had asked for both unions to be declared null and void. Reacting to the verdict, the lawyer representing the two couples and the mayor described the prosecutor's appeals as «unacceptable and groundless.» «The prevention of marriage between homosexuals strikes at the very heart of civil rights, namely self-determination and freedom,» Aliferis said. The two couples yesterday vowed to appeal to the European Court of Justice.