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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-12-01

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Two opposition parties request roll-call vote in heated parliamentary debate over equality bill

  • [01] Two opposition parties request roll-call vote in heated parliamentary debate over equality bill

    Two opposition parties requested a roll-call vote during an intense debate in parliament on Thursday on a draft bill for the equal treatment of people in the workplace.

    The Democratic Coalition, Potami and independent lawmakers said lawmakers should vote on articles 2, 3 and 4 of the bill by name in a debate expected to conclude later tonight. The bill incorporates EU legislation into national law which bans discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin and sexual orientation in the workplace.

    The legislation is backed in principle by SYRIZA, New Democracy, the Democratic Coalition, Potami, ANEL (Independent Greeks) and the Centrists' Union. The Communist Party votes "present" and Golden Dawn said it will vote against it.

    However, the Independent Greeks announced through their rapporteur, MP Konstantinos Katsikis, they will not approve articles of the bill which, in his view, equate civil partnerships with marriage.

    "Can a gay be a baby sitter, or a transsexual a teacher?" he asked attracting intense criticism by the Democratic Coalition representative and DIMAR leader Thanasis Theocharopoulos who slammed Katsikis' "homophobic rant". Theocharopoulos described ANEL's position as "third-world" and wondered if the Independent Greeks will request that citizens present a "sex certificate" to find a job.

    He also criticized SYRIZA for tolerating such talk from their coalition partner, accusing Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis of keeping mum during Katsikis' speech.

    On the contrary, the rapporteurs of the Democratic Coalition, Potami and the Centrists' Union asked the government to extend the rights of LGBTQI people beyond the workplace – in education, healthcare, asylum requests, access to public services and housing – with Potami's MP Giorgos Amiras saying the party backs recognition of gay marriage.

    SYRIZA MP Christos Karayiannidis said "people are not selected for baby sitters or couriers based on their sexual identity". Responding to homophobic comments by Golden Dawn MPs, Karayiannidis said those who believe that those who don't fit in their own model of "normalcy" are "perverts" are racists guided by hatred. "Normalcy is not the heterosexuals. Normalcy is all humans," he said.


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