Greek bishop threatens lawmakers over gay bill

Author: AP
Date Published: 11/29/2013

ATHENS, Greece (AP) An Orthodox Christian bishop in Greece is threatening to excommunicate lawmakers in his diocese who support efforts to legalize civil partnerships for same-sex couples.

Metropolitan bishop Seraphim of Piraeus, the port city next to Athens, on Thursday described homosexuality as a “terrible sin” and said it was his duty to expel lawmakers if they support the proposed changes. He called on the church’s governing Holy Synod to hold an emergency meeting on the issue.

Earlier this month, the Council of Europe’s Court of Human Rights condemned Greece for failing to include same-sex couples in a 2008 civil partnership law.

A senior Interior Ministry official said Thursday that changes to the law to conform to the court decision were “imperative” but did not say when legislation would be brought to parliament.