Gay couples bill scrapped

The extension to gay couples of a new cohabitation law, granting couples living together the same rights as those who are married, was rejected yesterday by parliament’s public administration committee. The reform, proposed by the main opposition PASOK party, was rejected as it only attracted the approval of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). PASOK called for the extension, noting that the current law as it stands excludes same-sex couples. But a spokesperson for ruling New Democracy condemned PASOK’s proposal as «contradictory and ill-thought-out.» Reacting to the committee’s verdict, Justice Minister Nikos Dendias said that the government would «investigate the issue further» and would «not turn a deaf ear» to gay rights. Dendias’s predecessor Sotiris Hatzigakis was not so understanding. Last October he stressed that the cohabitation law would not be extended to gay couples, noting that the bill was «as far as we need to go to fulfill the demands and needs of Greek society.»