Chapter Three: Family Affair
Neko-kun: This year’s Athens Pride had family as its theme. As the Pride Committee says:
This year, we focus on the concepts of equality and freedom of choice from the perspective of family life as defined by every LGBT person, and specifically on the legal recognition of all LGBT families.
The Greek State continues to deny us this right, even after the European Court of Human Rights decided on 11/2013 that “Greece has violated the European Convention on Human Rights by excluding same-sex couples from its Civil Partnership Law.”
Athens Pride advances the demand to expand of Family Law for all LGBT families and unwaveringly endorses the concept of the family that includes all sexualities and gender identities, as a nonnegotiable core value.
LGBTQI families in Greece are non-existant for the Greek state -thus, they remain unprotected against all sorts of discriminatory behavior. Public opinion is controlled, to a large degree, by the Orthodox Church and our currently conservative political system seems either unable or unwilling to change the situation. Under the heated condition, the influence of Athens Pride is essential to making progress for these families.
Foxy Lady: That the family had a particular form in the previous centuries is irrelevant to what its construction should be now and in the future. Family, as a notion, has been expanded the past few decades due to divorce, single parenthood and artificial surrogacy. There’s no logical reason why same-sex couples shouldn’t get married, adopt and start their own families. They can be great spouses and good parents, too, as every other hetero cis person. Marriage and family are two seperate things and that’s why we put them seperately on the table. Marriage is a contract that protects and gives financial, healthcare and protection rights to the spouses. Family can be created without the act of marriage but it is something that is currently legally protected when it comes to heterosexual couples. It also has a socio-emotional level. LGBTQI people aren’t incapabable of emotions so they can nurture children just as fine, as many researches show. We can’t wait until society ‘is ready’ . People won’t ever be ready if we just perpetually postpone the debate and that’s why we act and voice our concerns now.
To be part of a community is something of great importance to most people. It’s not only the need of socialization, but also the benefits of communicating with others. We grasp the culture we are part of, we find the words to describe ourselves, we learn the things we need to know in order to live a fulfilled life.There are many people, young and old, of the LGBTQI community who are searching for that fulfillment and yet are scared to do that extra step, to come out and be themselves. Out of the many important aspects of the parades and the other activities of the Pride festivals, giving a safe space to these people is perhaps the one reason why everyone should be in favor of their existence.
 Ideas taken from the excellent speeach by Vaggelis Mallios, at Ted TALK Heraklion.