Bill extending cohabitation pact to gay couples draws objections

Bill extending cohabitation pact to gay couples draws objections

Revised legislation that seeks to extend to same-sex couples a so-called cohabitation agreement, which grants non-married couples similar rights to those who are married, is expected be submitted to Parliament soon despite objections expressed during a two-week period of public consultation.

The bill drew 3,000 comments, most of which were critical of its plans to extend the pact to include gay couples.

But the Justice Ministry’s general secretary for human rights, Costas Papaioannou, indicated on Tuesday that the government had no plans to change its proposed bill.

“The state recognizes that there are other forms of family life than that which we know as marriage,” he said, adding that the European Court of Justice shares this stance.

He stated that laws should adapt to the existing state of affairs, noting that the fact there are children being raised by gay couples is “a very significant social fact.”

The revised bill aims to give signatories the favorable tax status enjoyed by married couples and increased inheritance rights.

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