‘Love wins’ say Greek lesbian couple as they wed at last

ATHENS — A calendar reminder appeared on Danai Deligeorges’ phone Thursday evening: “Wedding,” the message said. She turned to her partner Alexia Beziki with a smile. “Are you ready?” Beziki asked, before the couple kissed and started getting ready.

That evening, Deligeorges and Beziki became one of the first lesbian couples in Greece to marry after parliament passed a landmark bill allowing same-sex couples to tie the knot.

The historic vote, which also gives LGBTQ couples the right to adopt children, came after decades of campaigning by the LGBTQ community for marriage equality in the socially conservative country where the Orthodox Church has long held sway.

“Now we can confirm with a statement that: You know what? You didn’t do all these things in vain,” Deligeorges said before the ceremony. “So love conquers.”

Athens Mayor Haris Doukas married the couple in a quiet ceremony in central Athens attended by dozens of friends and relatives. The room in a government building erupted in applause as the couple said their vows and embraced. Deligeorges started to cry.

“Congratulations to this country,” the couple said.

Deligeorges proposed to Beziki in 2022 when marriage was forbidden for them. Last month, Beziki gave birth, but according to the law, Deligeorges was not recognized as a legal guardian.

Danai Deligiorgi and Alexia Beziki after their wedding ceremony on Thursday at the Athens City Hall, in Athens, Greece.Louise Vradi/Reuters

The vote in parliament on February 15 changed all that.

“It was also a victory for all people who believe that all individuals should be seen for what they choose,” said Beziki, a 43-year-old actress.

The law did not pass without opposition. The Orthodox Church, which believes homosexuality is a sin, is strongly against it. The first gay wedding took place in Athens last week under police surveillance after the couple received threats.

Many in the LGBTQ community believe the law doesn’t go far enough. It does not allow LGBTQ couples to use assisted reproductive methods. Surrogacy pregnancies will also not be extended to LGBTQ individuals.

Still, Mayor Doukas said progress has been made.

“It is our duty to ensure that every citizen of Athens has the freedom and right to live and love as he/she wishes,” he told Reuters after the ceremony.

Beziki and Deligeorges were overjoyed. Deligeorges said she had not felt this good since Greece’s surprise victory at the 2004 European Football Championship.

“We are finally being seen,” Beziki said.

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