Watchdog calls for gay unions

Greece’s human rights committee yesterday called for same-sex civil unions so that homosexuals and heterosexuals have equal social benefits, in a move expected to provoke fierce opposition from the powerful Orthodox Church. The National Human Rights Committee (EEDA), which advises the prime minister and government, proposed laws be amended for «the legal recognition of a real symbiotic relationship between homosexuals.» «It is now up to the Justice Ministry to take it further and implement what we have proposed,» said Christina Papadopoulou, scientific adviser to EEDA. EEDA said it was not talking about marriage or adoption but gay civil unions to permit filing tax forms, receiving pensions and other social benefits. Papadopoulou, asked whether she expected a reaction from the Church, said: «We are dealing with this only as a state issue. We do not care if the Church agrees or not.» Greek gay groups said the proposal was a good start but needed to go further. (Reuters)

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