Greece’s gay Syriza leader says he told of plans to become parent to ‘stir’ debate

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Greece’s gay Syriza leader says he told of plans to become parent to ‘stir’ debate


An Awakened Debate

Stefanos Kasselakis, the first openly gay political party leader in Greece, has revealed his intentions to become a parent through surrogacy, not to draw attention, but to stir the stagnant waters of public conversation. He seeks to break the taboo surrounding same-sex couples’ parenthood in a country where LGBT rights are often overshadowed.

A Family Born of Love

“Love makes a family,” writes Kasselakis, a Greek-American businessman, on Facebook. He entered politics to awaken consciousness, not to lull them to sleep. For him, recognizing the desire of loving people to become parents, whether through adoption or surrogacy, is paramount.

Controversy and Criticism

The revelation of Kasselakis and his American husband, Tyler McBeth, about their desire to expand their family has sparked a strong reaction. They have been criticized not only by social conservatives but also by progressives within Syriza, accusing them of misogyny and narcissism.

Beyond Genetics

Elena Akrita, a Syriza MP and fervent supporter of Kasselakis, countered that love and affection outweigh the “reproduction of our DNA” in child-rearing. Kasselakis, facing the controversy, denied having a preference for a “particular gender” and emphasized his sense of responsibility and empathy.

Advancement of Rights

Under the rule of Syriza between 2015 and 2019, cohabitation agreements for same-sex couples were enacted, but same-sex marriage was not legalized. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced his intention to introduce this legislation, reflecting a more ready and mature Greek society.

A Path Strewn with Obstacles

Despite the progress, homophobia persists, and attacks against gay men are on the rise. Makis Voridis, a prominent member of the ruling New Democracy party, highlighted the resistance Mitsotakis is facing, stating his opposition to same-sex marriage.

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A Voice for All

Kasselakis is also criticized by LGBTQ+ solidarity groups in Greece for being too “homonormative.” Nancy Papathanasiou, a clinical psychologist and co-founder of the Orlando group, advocates for a more nuanced approach to parenthood, emphasizing the need for Kasselakis to broaden his advocacy beyond his personal desires.

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