Gay Country Rank: 49/193
Greece is one of the countries where political openness to LGBTQIA+ is increasing. In one of its annual reports, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) has reported that Greece was the top European country for improvements between 2014-2018.
In our Greece for LGBT expats guide, we’ll explore Greece’s relationship with the LGBT community, what rights do LGBT expats have there, and the best neighborhoods and islands to live in.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Greece have evolved significantly since the early 21st century, establishing it as one of the most liberal countries in Southern Europe. Discrimination has become increasingly less common in the country as of late, although LGBT people in Greece may still face social challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Despite this, Greek public opinion on homosexuality is generally regarded as culturally liberal, with same-sex unions being legally recognised since 2015.
Both male and female same-sex sexual activity have been legal in Greece since 1951, and anti-discrimination laws in employment were enacted in 2005. Since then, anti-discrimination laws have been extended to other spheres including gender identity. Hate speech and hate crime legislation is one of the most rigid and comprehensive in Europe. In 2015, civil unions (Greek: σύμφωνο συμβίωσης; cohabitation agreements) were legalised for same-sex couples, making households headed by same-sex couples eligible for many, but not all, of the legal protections and rights available to married opposite-sex couples. In 2017, transgender people were granted the right to have their gender identity recognized and change their legal sex without having to undergo surgical alteration of their genitals in order to have key identity documents changed. In February 2018, a county court in Greece granted a non-binary person the right to a gender-neutral name. In May 2018, the Greek Parliament passed a law granting same-sex couples the right to foster care children.
Gay culture is vibrant in the capital of Athens, particularly in the gay neighbourhood of Gazi, in Thessaloniki and some of the Greek islands. With Greece being one of Europe's most popular LGBT tourist destinations, many establishments catering for the LGBT community can be found in islands such as Mykonos, which is known worldwide for the gay and lesbian scene. There are four LGBT pride parades held annually, in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and Heraklion, the capital of the island of Crete. The largest of them, the Athens Pride, saw record participation in 2015, and the attendance of many public figures including the President of the Hellenic Parliament and the Mayor of Athens.