Late last year, the Greek parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex civil unions, making it one of few Eastern European nations to offer such a right. It was a big step for Greece—and Europe as a whole, following so soon on the heels to the successful referendum to repeal Slovenia's marriage equality bill—and one that faced fierce opposition from conservative elements in the country, like the Greek Orthodox Church. Recently, however, LGBT citizens have found a new ally, in the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan (Bishop) of Messinia, Chrysostomos Savvatos.
Gay Star New reports that, speaking with local Tharros News, Savvatos said:
"Homosexuals, like all humans, are a creation of God and they deserve the same respect and honor, and not violence and rejection."
"We shouldn’t forget the way Christ responded to the sinful woman, according to the Gospels, which became his word. 'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.'”
"That canon should be our guiding principle for the way in which we should handle every person and fellow human, regardless of their otherness or differences. The church doesn’t reject people."
His comments came after a fellow Metropolitan, Ambrosios of Kalavryta, called for violence against LGBT people in the wake of the civil unions bill, saying:
"Spit on them, beat them up, they are not human."
Savvatos, however, reiterated his doctrinal opposition to non-traditional families.
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