By Bree Bailey | Contributor
In the past, Greece was known to be one of Europe's most socially conservative countries. However, on Oct. 10, the parliament passed a new law causing harsh divides to form in their country.
The law was passed with 171 votes in favor and 114 against, which means now anyone of the age of 15 and above can legally change their gender. No longer are they required to go through a medical evaluation or have surgery. They can simply switch their sex, and that change will appear on all legal documents, such as their birth certificate and diploma. This new move places them on equal grounds with Denmark, Ireland, Malta and Norway, who also do not require diagnosis of any sort before one's gender can be changed.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras fully supported the bill, giving several bold statements concerning the struggles faced by transgender children.
"No tradition, no religion, no perception of family requires citizens to remain on the margins or be pushed into institutional and social oblivion," Tsipras said to parliament before the vote.
Tsipras continued by asking what kind of God would want us to make decisions that cause children to be bullied, humiliated or become suicidal. He fully believed that he was being a "voice for the voiceless."
Nancy Papathanasiou, a clinical psychologist who oversees an LGBT helpline in Athens spoke about how for the first time Greece is openly talking about issues no one would before.
However, even Kyriakos Mitsotakis, president of the center-right New Democracy Party, who is fully supportive of "self-determination," views this law as unwise. He declares that allowing a youth under the age of 18 to make such a drastic, life-altering decision is absurd.
"It makes no sense to us that a 15-year-old, who is prohibited from consuming alcohol, is allowed to take such an important decision . . . a decision that should be taken with medical expertise," Mitsotakis said.
As one could imagine, this new law infuriated the Greek Orthodox Church. They view this law as "a satanic deed" which will cause horrific consequences.
The spokesperson of Ireonymos, the Greek Orthodox Church's head Archbishop, Haris Konidaris believes the bill will only impact society negatively. According to him, it threatens to dissolve family and undermines the values of human beings.
As Christians, we need to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Greek Orthodox Church who are being condemned and viewed as inhumane for their beliefs.