NEWS

Sanidas moves to stop gay wedding

Supreme Court prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas moved yesterday to block the country’s first gay marriage after the mayor of the island of Tilos said he was willing to go ahead with the ceremony. Sanidas intervened to stop the ceremony that has been planned to take place this summer by declaring same-sex marriages illegal. «Marriage between gays is not provided in current legislation and the Constitution,» said Sanidas in a circular sent to prosecutors in Rhodes. The prosecutor also said the mayor of Tilos, Tassos Aliferis, would face criminal charges if he went ahead with the wedding. Aliferis said on Thursday he would carry out the ceremony for two gay men who took the first official step toward marriage by posting a wedding notice in a Greek newspaper. Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis also said he believed gay marriages could not take place. «This is not possible. It would not be legal,» he told state-run NET television. Legal experts disagree, however, saying that legislation regulating marriages does not refer to gender. «Existing legislation does not explicitly forbid holding a wedding between people of the same sex,» said Theofano Papazisi, law professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Greece’s Orthodox Church has expressed strong objections to gay marriage in the past.