ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Church bells have rung “in mourning” across a western Greek diocese to protest the passing of a law making it easier for people to officially change their gender.
Under the guidance of Metropolitan Amvrosios of Kalavryta, a fiery conservative Orthodox bishop, clerics in his diocese decided that starting Sunday church bells are to ring every day, through Saturday, at noon for three minutes. They also called for the repeal of the “anti-Christian and anti-Greek” law.
“It is an outrageous inspiration for someone to change his gender in a few minutes, with a simple declaration, so contrary to what God has gifted people with … whoever has ‘gender dysphoria’ is mentally ill,” says a statement adopted by the Kalavryta diocese’s clerics Saturday.
The statement, which also condemns homosexuality as a “deadly sin” and rails in general against “every kind of bestial deviation,” also expressed worries that legislation allowing adoption by same-sex couples will be next.
“We do not hate the sinner, but the sin,” the statement adds.
The clerics also said that they will raise protest banners in the city of Aigion, the largest in the diocese.
The law, passed with 171 votes in favor in the 300-member parliament last week, allows Greeks over the age of 15 to change the gender listed on their identity cards and other official documents following a simplified procedure in court. Until now, they had to prove they had undergone sex-change surgery and psychiatric assessment.