Gay rights groups were set to rally in front of Parliament in Athens on Tuesday as lawmakers vote on a bill granting same-sex couples the right to marry, with most of the privileges afforded to heterosexual spouses.
Ahead of the planned rally, a small group of activists holding a banner reading “Love is not a sin” marched to the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Church in the city center to protest comments earlier this month by the bishop of Kalavryta, Amvrosios, in which he denounced homosexuals as “freaks of nature.”
“Whenever and wherever you meet them, spit on them,” Amvrosios wrote in a blog post. “Condemn them. Blacken them. They are not human! They are freaks of nature!”
Activists have hailed the bill as being in the right direction but say it falls short, particularly on the issue of child custody and adoption.
Greece and Latvia are the only states in the European Union that do not recognize same-sex marriage.