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Greece has recently made headlines by becoming the first Christian Orthodox-majority nation to legalize same-sex marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children. The decision, which followed a parliamentary vote of 176-76, marks a significant milestone in the nation’s history.

However, the move has not been without controversy, as it has sparked division within the country, particularly with opposition led by the Orthodox Church. The Church views the measure as a threat to social cohesion and has been vocal in its resistance against the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Despite the opposition, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis championed the bill, emphasizing its importance in abolishing inequality. Mitsotakis secured the necessary support from opposition parties to pass the bill, highlighting the collaborative effort required to enact this historic legislation.

The decision to legalize same-sex marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children has been celebrated by LGBTQ organizations in Greece as a significant step towards equality and inclusivity. It represents a turning point in the nation’s stance on LGBTQ rights, bringing Greece closer to its European counterparts that have already embraced marriage equality.

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Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso, a World Cup winner, has testified in a Madrid court that a kiss from former football federation president Luis Rubiales was not consensual. The incident occurred after the World Cup final last year when Rubiales allegedly grabbed Hermoso by the head and kissed her on the lips. The judge will now decide whether Rubiales should face trial for sexual assault and coercion. Hermoso, Spain’s top scorer, emphasized that the kiss was unexpected and non-consensual during her two-and-a-half-hour testimony, reiterating her previous statements leaked to Spanish TV. The court is examining evidence, including CCTV footage, to determine if the case should go to trial.

The kiss, which took place during the medal ceremony in Sydney after Spain’s victory over England, initially seemed consensual based on a statement attributed to Hermoso shortly after the final. However, she later claimed that she was pressured by Spanish football federation officials to endorse the statement. Rubiales, who denies the allegations, is also being investigated for possible coercion related to the pressure on Hermoso. Other figures under investigation include the coach Jorge Vilda, federation executives Albert Luque and Rubén Rivera.

Hermoso stated that she did not want the kiss and felt like a victim of assault, highlighting that, under Spanish law, a kiss without consent can be considered a form of sexual assault. Despite Rubiales asserting it was a consensual peck, he resigned as president of the Spanish football federation following the incident. An investigation was initiated, and he was prohibited from approaching Hermoso within 200 meters by an investigating judge. The case has drawn attention beyond football, making Hermoso a notable figure in discussions about equality and solidarity.

On New Year’s Eve, Hermoso expressed gratitude for the positive changes in terms of equality and solidarity and congratulated her Spain teammates for the empowerment achieved. At 33, she announced a club change, leaving Pachuca in Mexico, where she played since 2022, for Tigres UANL, the country’s most successful women’s team.

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In an unprecedented turn of events in Paris this weekend, a significant demonstration took place in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict, drawing representatives from major political parties. Notably, the far right, including Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella of the National Rally, participated, while the far left, led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon of France Unbowed, boycotted the event, citing it as a gathering for supporters of the Gaza massacre.

This shift is symbolic, considering historical political dynamics in France. Traditionally, the far right was ostracized due to its perceived anti-Republican views, especially on Jewish issues. The far left, on the other hand, despite criticism, remained part of the broader political spectrum. However, the current scenario reflects a shake-up in the political landscape.

The contemporary far right in France, now labeled as “hard right” or “national right,” has shifted focus from past anti-Semitic stances to prioritize issues such as immigration, insecurity, and Islamism, aligning with some Jewish perspectives. Meanwhile, the far left interprets the Gaza conflict through an anti-colonial lens, emphasizing solidarity with the oppressed against perceived superpower aggression.

This unusual alignment sees a party with a history of Holocaust denial, like the National Rally, supporting French Jews openly. Conversely, a party built on human rights and equality, like France Unbowed, faces accusations of antisemitism for not condemning Hamas as a terrorist organization.

While nuances exist, the overall trend shows the National Rally under Marine Le Pen successfully integrating into the mainstream, while France Unbowed under Jean-Luc Mélenchon appears to be distancing itself. Opinion polls reinforce this, with Marine Le Pen leading in presidential election polls, while Mélenchon’s support has declined.

Serge Klarsfeld, a prominent figure in the fight against antisemitism in France, acknowledges the irony. He appreciates the far right’s departure from antisemitism, seeing it align with Republican values, yet expresses sadness over the far left’s perceived abandonment of efforts to combat antisemitism.

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