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The position of the KKE on civil marriage of same-sex couples and its impact on children's rights

1. The CC of the KKE discussed the Party's position on the government’s bill on 'Civil marriage equality, amendment of the Civil Code and other provisions', which was submitted for public consultation on 25 January 2024. The provisions of the bill reveal the main issue it seeks to resolve.

The bill is not about social recognition of the possibility for same-sex couples to choose a form of cohabitation and the legal regulation of certain personal, economic and social relations between them. It is not about the need to break down social prejudice against them that may hinder their decision to cohabit, for example difficulties in renting a house, getting a job, etc.

Undoubtedly, the institutionalization of civil marriage of same-sex couples promotes the recognition of their shared parental responsibility, as we already foresaw in 2015 when the Civil Partnership was extended to same-sex couples. However, the recognition of shared parental responsibility for same-sex couples can only be brought about by circumventing the objective complementarity of woman and man in the reproduction of the species, in procreation.

Article 10 legitimizes the commercialization of procreation and adoption in order to circumvent the motherhood-fatherhood relation. In essence, the bill further promotes the commercialization of the process of having children, by institutionalizing the recognition of international commercial surrogacy by same-sex male couples, and of in vitro fertilization (IVF) with donor sperm for same-sex female couples.

The same applies to adoption. Given that the number of adoption applications filed by couples or individuals is many times higher than the number of children up for adoption in child protection facilities, the way is essentially paved for trafficking in refugee children, but also in children from countries where people are starving, where contraception methods are not available or used, and where human life, particularly infant and child life, is devalued.

Therefore, the first and main reason for the KKE's refusal to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples, which enshrines shared parental responsibility, is the commercialization of procreation and adoption.

A second, equally important and related reason is that, in practice, the articles of the bill bypass the social right of a child to the motherhood-fatherhood relation as an evolving biosocial relationship.


2.Our Party considers that parenthood is the relationship between a parent and child, which at the individual level reflects existing social relations. The KKE's position is based on the rights of the child, i.e. the child's social need to have bonds with both its mother and father. This need has an objective basis: the interrelated motherhood-fatherhood relation, resulting from the complementary function of man and woman in the process of procreation. The laws that are enacted must defend this right, not undermine it.

The dialectical–materialist approach to the motherhood-fatherhood relation does not imply either absolute biologism or a denial of this complementarity. The motherhood- fatherhood relation is an exclusively human characteristic, beyond the instinctive protection that every mammal provides for its offspring. This complementary relation has a biological basis —because humans reproduce biologically— and from the very first moment it takes on a social character.

Humans are social biological beings, i.e. their biological needs, like their social needs, can be met exclusively in a social way. Thus, motherhood and fatherhood are inherent in the human species. Humans are the sum total of their social relations, a fact that does not negate their biological nature, but includes it. This means that fatherhood and motherhood cannot be viewed as detached from their biological base and social relations.

The more humans evolve socially, the more consciously they must approach individual responsibility for procreation and realize their responsibility towards their offspring, which is objectively dependent on the parents —especially on the mother— for a considerable period of time. The exclusion of human–social motherhood means that motherhood ceases to be the fruit of the long evolution of humans.

We are not referring to the concepts of motherhood - fatherhood as social roles, which are certainly different depending on the character of the given society, depending on the level of development of the productive forces, which also determines the mode of material production. This is also reflected in the forms of social cohabitation, such as the family, and therefore in the social, legal and cultural relations surrounding procreation. From the slave-owning society to capitalism, the social position of women was reduced to the role of wife, only to have children and take care of them, to engage in the restricted family tasks rather than in wider social labor. This is about the subordination of woman to man for thousands of years (an issue that also concerned the exploiting class in power or the free individual producer). Of course, modern capitalist society also reproduces women’s inequality in contemporary forms.

Under capitalism, with the mass entry of women into wage labor or self-employment, which objectively brought about the relative economic independence of women from the male members of the family (father, brother, husband), with the corresponding modernization of the legal framework, the social content of motherhood and fatherhood evolved: Motherhood as the main social role of women receded, while paternal responsibility increased, especially for the working class and popular sections of the urban middle strata.

These developments were reflected in fundamental changes in the law (Family, Labor, etc.), such as the abolition of laws which had maintained the inequality of women in marriage (adultery on their part, dowries, obligation to take the husband's surname, etc.), but also the delayed institutionalization of shared parental responsibility, even for parents in free cohabitation. These were enshrined in the Soviet Union, much later in the capitalist countries, as was the case in Greece.

The official common right of men and women to work, the progressive changes in the law —although with a greater delay in changing attitudes— have also rightly brought about the extension of the responsibilities of fatherhood not only to financial responsibility for their children, but to all matters of daily care. The tendency exists for both parents to contribute to the upbringing of children. Of course, objective changes in working and living conditions (working hours, the generalization of flexible working relationships) have also had an impact, particularly in the period of the previous capitalist economic crisis.


3. We believe that the main issue associated with civil marriage today is the social responsibility of motherhood and fatherhood, legally enshrined as shared parental responsibility. As the economic motive of marriage is weakened, as it is increasingly based on the free choice of cohabitation (especially for working-class, popular forces), only the institutional regulation of shared parental responsibility remains as a necessity at the core of marriage. Parental responsibility concerns the overall responsibility for the child (upbringing, education, health, shelter and includes the administration of the child's property, if such exists) either in the form of biological parents or in their replacement through adoption (i.e. by a legal act transferring parental responsibility of motherhood or fatherhood or both to adoptive parents).

The KKE is opposed to civil marriage for same-sex couples, because it grants parental status to persons of the same sex, and leads to the exclusion of either motherhood, or fatherhood. It establishes dual parental motherhood or dual parental fatherhood respectively. The concept of dual same-sex parenthood in fact uncouples the concept of parental responsibility from its objective social and biological basis. This is why in 2015 the KKE criticized, objected to, and voted against the civil partnership agreement for same-sex couples, predicting that it would act as a precedent leading to civil marriage and adoption.

The non-institutionalization of civil marriage in same-sex couples does not constitute inequality, since the transfer of parental responsibility of one of the divorced couples to the new spouse of the other does not apply to the children of divorced heterosexual couples either, even if they live together, and even if the child receives emotional or essential care from him/her. In the case of a divorced heterosexual couple with children, the children's relationships with their parents' new partners does not lead either to the exclusion of motherhood or fatherhood, or to parenthood 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. A child's relationship with his or her mother and father should not be hindered by dysfunctional relationships between them when they are not living together. But even this is not a matter of exclusively interpersonal relationships, because these too reflect social ones. The state must shape the conditions (economic, wider social, legal, cultural) to ensure that maternal and paternal responsibility is effectively realized. For this reason, even in adoption there are certain social criteria in each given time period and country.

In the case of adoption by a single person —woman or man and not a couple— the replacement of the biological mother or biological father is unilateral and therefore incomplete. It does not, however, lead to double motherhood, double fatherhood or even triple or multiple parenthood —parent 1, parent 2, parent 3, etc.— which is already the case in some countries.

This possibility was also promoted by the recent resolution of the European Parliament (14/12/2023) on the so-called "European Certificate of Parenthood", which recognizes a child's parental relationship with more than two parents, even with "persons claiming to be his/her parents".

It is a gross oversimplification to claim that the social development and emotional state of the child depends only on the love given to it by the same-sex partners, or to present their relationship as idealized, free of pathogenic elements such as friction between the couple and even violence, which also characterize heterosexual couples. Consciously or unconsciously, these views involve a devaluation of one sex, a devaluation of either fatherhood or motherhood.

The mental and physical health and social development of children clearly cannot be guaranteed by a system that estimates the needs of workers and children, as well as pensioners, on a cost-benefit basis for the purposes of capitalist competitiveness. Therefore, in these circumstances we cannot make comparisons between 'happy and balanced' children of heterosexual couples and 'unhappy' children of those living with same-sex couples, and vice versa. On the contrary, what even bourgeois-driven research confirms is the fact that the successive deep and globally synchronized economic crises —and not only— are accompanied by an upsurge in teenage prostitution involving both boys and girls, violence and delinquency, drug addiction, alcoholism, various other kinds of addictions (e.g. gambling, Internet).


4. Nowadays, scientific achievements, the possibility of intervening in both the egg and sperm, in DNA, bring new bioethical dilemmas to the social and political ‘table’. As with any new scientific knowledge and the corresponding technological achievements, they can be used to rapidly increase social prosperity, or to hinder or even destroy it: Issues already exist concerning the possibility of reproducing humans fully by technological means under laboratory conditions, as well as issues of intervening in the genetic code, predetermination of traits, etc., i.e. with eugenic elements. In this sense, Medically Assisted Reproduction (MAR) can, on the one hand, be used to combat infertility, for the realization of motherhood-fatherhood, but, on the other hand, it can be exploited, motivated by capitalist profit, which leads to trade in oocytes and sperm, to the commercialization of artificial insemination, especially to the commercialized use of the surrogate mother, one of the most extreme forms of exploitation of the female body.

This is a profitable sector with global networking. In the context of the capitalist market, no rules can be established in this process. It is characteristic that in Greece certain safeguards were abolished in 2002 by means of successive legislative provisions, which we also voted against for heterosexual couples. In fact, with these laws, the state has fueled and is fueling the profits of the business giants of reproductive medical tourism in Greece.

This process can lead to its uncontrolled use and fuel the consciously intended rupture of the dialectical relationship of motherhood - fatherhood, which is based on the biological complementarity of woman - man in the reproductive process.

We believe that surrogacy can only be utilized as an exception, with a set of very strict conditions and specifications (medical reasons, family ties with the woman carrying the child, court authorization, protection of the health of the surrogate woman and the child, scientific and social research on the course of the emotional and social development of the child and the surrogate woman). Of course, as long as commercialization prevails in health care and MAR these conditions unfortunately cannot be guaranteed.


5. The specific issue of the provisions for children's relations with their parents' partners (in heterosexual and same-sex couples):

The Party follows contemporary developments in cohabitation relationships between people who have children. According to the current legal framework, the father and mother have shared parental responsibility for children born into a marriage, into a civil partnership or recognized either voluntarily by the father or following a court decision issued following a lawsuit. In the case of the adoption of a child by a single person, the future spouse acquires joint parental responsibility only if he or she subsequently adopts the child himself or herself. At the same time, relationships are formed between the child and people who do not exercise parental responsibility but who are in daily contact with the child. These are the new partners of divorced parents (whether they are married, formally cohabiting or just living together) or the partners of adoptive or foster parents, who may be of heterosexual or homosexual sexual orientation.

In these cases, in order to solve a number of issues related to the child's daily life and needs, the cooperation of the cohabitants with each other and with the biological parents is required. These are actions that are largely already in practice. For example, in order to regulate parental responsibility after the death of the biological or adoptive parent —if no second biological parent is present— the partner or his or her partner can assume guardianship, which is essentially no different from assuming parental responsibility, if the parent appoints him or her for this purpose either through a will or by declaration to a magistrate or notary in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code on Guardianship (para. 2 Art. 1592 CC). The guardian has the same duties of custody of the child (1603 CC) as the biological parent has. To the counter-argument that "it is an additional legal procedure", we argue that it is necessary from the point of view of the rights of the protection of the child that do not always concur with the wishes of the person pursuing parental care.

In light of the above, it appears that a number of existing legislative provisions in force solve issues raised by political parties, the mass media and NGOs in practice. At the same time, the KKE clarifies that where issues of regulation of daily life are identified in the cohabitation of children —biological or adopted— and their parents' partners/cohabiting partners in same-sex couples, it is possible to proceed with addressing such situations by improving the relevant legislative regulations, without overriding or negating the principle of shared parental responsibility of motherhood - fatherhood, which results from the biological relationship between man and woman in the reproductive process.

In addition, we note that, in general, in the current conditions with the great increase in divorces and divorced spouses, the issues of regulating the child's relations with both the people who exercise parental care, and those who live with the child but do not exercise parental care or even custody, are complex and cannot all be solved only through fixed legislative regulations. This was confirmed in the case of the “compulsory joint custody” of children by their biological parents following divorce or the end of cohabitation, which created more problems than it solved in the way it was introduced. There are many issues of “abuse” of custody (neglect, abuse and even sexual violence) by people who exercise it under the law or who in practice have childcare responsibilities.

All these issues do not strictly concern the "individual - family", as they are often perceived by biological or adoptive parents, but are social, with the needs of the child at the center. However, social welfare services fall far short in terms of the facilities and means of supporting parental responsibility and custody, monitoring these in practice from the birth of the child or the child's adoption, through all pre-school education and Education facilities, Healthcare Centers and, in particular, Mental Health Centers, with specialized services for infancy, childhood and adolescence.


6. In the positions set forth by both government representatives and representatives of the social democratic parties, there is a great distortion of what constitutes a genuine right to marriage and procreation. We find it misleading to claim that regulating different situations differently violates the equal rights of citizens.

Marriage was the institutional vessel for procreation. Satisfying one's sexuality is not the same as procreation. In this sense, it was not the main motive for the institutionalization of marriage in any socio-economic formation, which initially concerned the property-owning classes. Then, from late feudalism to late capitalism, it was gradually extended to the working-popular strata. Marriage - the family as a social unit that encompassed the reproduction of the species, was an institution that was determined —and to a considerable extent is still today— by the given conditions and needs of social production - distribution, the character of social relations.

That is why the KKE's objection to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples is not related to the sexual orientation of each and every individual, to its attitude towards homosexuality or bisexuality as an expression of sexuality. We remind you, moreover, that the KKE has put forth legislative proposals and developed political actions in order to abolish any form of isolation, condemning any form of racism against people of same-sex sexual orientation. We oppose the exclusion of homosexuals from apprenticeships, employment, housing, access to any social - cultural - sporting or other activity. The KKE opposes any kind of division based on race, sex, color, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, with the basic criterion of the need for class unity of the working class, the common interests of the great majority of the Greek people, of all the peoples of the world. This essential position of our Party is being misinterpreted, being made to appear contradictory, because of our objection to same-sex couples acquiring the right to joint adoption through civil marriage, etc.

There is a vast difference between the position of the KKE from the homophobic conceptualizations and corresponding practices, from the medieval ecclesiastical understanding of sexuality outside marriage —especially for women— as well as homosexuality.

The Church's opposition to civil marriage of same-sex couples stems from the point of view that it considers homosexuality a "sin", arguing that it "contradicts" the "God-given" complementarity of man and woman and the "God-given" institution of marriage, in order to form, as it says, conditions of love and balance between the spouses and in their relationship with their children.

But also, the disagreements of certain bourgeois powers concerning the relevant law are being expressed in order to defend marriage as the "institutional cocoon" of the nuclear family as a fundamental economic-social unit.

The KKE, as a revolutionary workers' party, over the 105 years of its history, has proved that in a general direction it has fought vigorously, both ideologically - politically and practically, through its forces for the creation of a new man, who develops communist ethics —and not only ideology— who struggles with his weaknesses, who does not theorize his individual specificity (even in relation to his sexuality) and does not develop his "individual self” at the expense of class and revolutionary collectivity.

The KKE achieved its greatest such conquests under conditions of a sharpening class struggle, such as during the period of the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) in prisons and exile, by making a breakthrough in the question of respecting and promoting women in social action, in the class, political struggle, and in the protection of children. Such conquests are a legacy for the class struggle in today's new, complex and contradictory conditions, a source of communist consciousness and ethics for young people and young women, for the defense and development of the revolutionary workers' identity of the Party.


7. In the direction of misinterpreting the position of the KKE, forces are leading the way which in the name of "individual rights-ism" obscure the relationship between individual and social rights, refute the social content of every individual right.  No individual right can be detached from the exploitative, capitalist relations that exist. The totality of bourgeois institutions, including legal and  judicial ones, are rooted in the capitalist economy of class inequality.

At the same time, these views are exploited to cultivate at the individual level, a "blurred", fluid, classless identity of the individual without any objective basis.

The social democratic forces, which present themselves as defenders of 'individual rights', in practice legitimize the extreme exploitation of women and the commercialization of the body through commercial surrogacy, as confirmed by the related SYRIZA bill proposal. At the same time, while in government they contributed to the cover-up of police arbitrariness against people of same-sex sexual orientation.

SYRIZA and PASOK, New Left, just as they have supported the ND government on key issues (the “new” memoranda, The Recovery Fund, the imperialist plans of the US - NATO - EU in Ukraine, support of Israel in the massacre of the Palestinian people, etc.) so now they are playing the role of the "left" supporter of government policy, reproducing the dominant direction towards the commercialization of human reproduction, established in the US, in the EU with the backing of NATO. As for the far-right formations, by recycling anachronistic views on the family, they are a "useful alibi" for New Democracy.


8. In view of the above, questions arise about the intensity of misinformation on these issues by politicians, MPs, former or current ministers: Why is there no attempt to take an objective position based on existing legislation/ case law/ regulations etc.? Why no attempt is made to improve them? Why are the forces that have been at the forefront of the violation of social and individual rights, nowadays being presented as defenders of 'rights' and so-called 'equality'? Why is this debate being deliberately chosen by the government almost unilaterally at this time?

We believe that this debate not only does not contribute to the elimination of reprehensible social practices against people with same-sex or bisexual sexuality (alienation, violence, etc.), but on the contrary, it may even lead to the intensification of repulsive homophobic, racist attacks. In essence it is aimed at disorientation in relation to class rights, their assertion by the organized movement, the deconstruction of the social characteristics of personality, negatively impacting the social maturation of young people, the workers of tomorrow. In this way, men and women can be more easily manipulated by the capitalist system. It is the other side of the coin of promoting new anti-worker - anti-people regulations concerning all economic and wider social issues (Education, Health, Welfare, protection against natural phenomena, safety in water, energy, transport infrastructure, etc.).

We also consider as problematic the prevailing line of the system linking the claim of dual same-sex parenthood with the generalized promotion of theories —also being promoted through the educational system— that downplay or even refute the objective biological difference between men and women, i.e. theories of a "social construction of gender". We clarify that the idealistic–metaphysical view that sex is socially constructed is one thing, and the dialectical–materialistic explanation of the social position and behavior of men and women and their perceptions of their social role, which are shaped by the historically given economic conditions of the organization of society, is another. It is one thing the issue of gender dysphoria, intersex children, which in these cases have objective characteristics, and quite another the theories of a "wide gender spectrum".

Such views, promoted by the self-proclaimed LGBTQ+ leadership, attempt to lump together people with different class interests and political positions, with different expressions of sexuality, etc.

These irrational, unscientific theories serve the goals of capital in many ways. They cultivate the disconnection of man from any objective determination (e.g. sex, class, etc.) and facilitate his manipulation within the system. They even present as an individual right the acceptance of the transformation of the human body by adding implants to interconnect it with other workers, the Internet and other "smart machines" for capitalist profitability. That is, in modern conditions they serve to expand the commercialization of changes in the human body, when there is no need for them for medical reasons. In this direction, modern capitalist power uses the new scientific and technological achievements, not to reduce general working time and improve working and living conditions, but also to deconstruct social class consciousness.

The new scientific–technological possibilities, instead of being used for the welfare of the workers, are exploited in a distorted and anti-social direction, in order to serve the interests of capital. For example, in the face of the lack of effective social support for procreation at the most fertile age, egg cryopreservation or the prospect of ectogenesis is presented as a 'solution' to keep women at work and intensify their exploitation.

It is not a coincidence that all this is channeled, tested, promoted by the most powerful centers of the international imperialist system, such as the EU, the USA, the UK. It is embedded in a whole network of vast economic interests, funding, propaganda, which embraces all spheres of economic, political, cultural, intellectual life, with the aim of integration, disorientation and manipulation. On the other hand, within the imperialist Eurasian bloc that is being formed, Russia is following the opposite direction, under the ideological guise of 'defending traditional values'.

It is important to note that government officials, in order to promote the bill, resort to crude anti-Sovietism and anti-communism, linking its promotion to the further integration of our country into the "camp" of Euro-Atlanticism. They implicitly acknowledge that a fierce inter-imperialist confrontation is underway around these issues, linked both to the interests of the capitalists in the global biotechnology market and to the ideological guise under which capitalist interests are promoted.

All this is accompanied by ideas that systematically obscure the capitalist motive, distort reality and present conservatism and the further reactionary turn of capitalism as progress, in order to effectively manipulate the working-popular masses, especially the youth, who lack deeper historical knowledge and class experience.      

At the same time, private and state bodies do not orient the public debate, the corresponding interest in the contemporary problems in relations between the two sexes, which are also linked to the generalized participation of women in social labor, which has a progressive character, but objectively creates new needs in the relationship between work and motherhood/ fatherhood. All the more so if there is no corresponding social support policy and the corresponding economic and social conditions to prevent young women and men from putting off procreation at their most fertile age.        

A deeper exploration of the relevant political and scientific debate within the EU and internationally, of their concern about the crisis of the "heterosexual nuclear family" is certainly needed. The capitalist system still needs it to take over the care of children almost entirely, making up for the lack of comprehensive and multi-faceted free social support structures for parents and children.

In the 21st century, children do not need general 'caregivers'. The modern working person  —women and men— should not be deprived of the happiness of a new life because they are condemned to pursue degrees and certificates continually in order to find a job that won’t even guarantee them stable working hours, or holidays, making it impossible for them to leave their parents' home and needing their parents to supplement their income until they are 30 or more years of age.


9. In conclusion on this draft bill:

  • We do not agree with the draft bill of the ND government, neither with the bill proposal submitted by SYRIZA on civil marriage for same-sex couples. We will vote against it in principle.
  • The proposals of ND not only do not solve the crucial issues of the commercialization of procreation and adoption by same-sex couples, which leads de facto to the abolition of the child's right to motherhood and fatherhood, but instead obscure and reproduce them to an exaggerated degree. With a different rationale and different levels of escalation, they lead to the implementation of the Kasselakis proposal, since they pave the way for child trafficking (through adoption, etc.), for recourse to illegal methods of surrogacy or recourse to foreign countries where the procedure is allowed, with all that this implies, opening the door to extreme possibilities and circumstances, even eugenics. Finally, apart from the above, we must point out that the institutionalization of civil marriage for same-sex couples is a prerequisite for future recourse to Greek courts and the European court, in order to implement the whole agenda in the name of eliminating discrimination.
  • Speaking of marriage in its current evolution, the core of the KKE's policy is the institutionalized regulation of shared parental responsibility based on the interests of the child and not on the narrow individual wishes of the parents.
  • We continue to fight for the requisite state and social protection of children, for the development of a network of free state social services with a focus on prevention, with the recruitment of permanent psychologists and social workers in schools, university faculties, workplaces, sports and cultural facilities. Particular attention should be paid to childhood and adolescence, with the development of a special social service staffed by a team of scientists to monitor the psycho-intellectual and physical development of children, adolescents and young people.
  • We struggle for provisions that will improve the relationship of the child with the partner of the biological or adoptive parent in daily life.
  • We raise a protective shield within the collective, organized struggle of the labor, popular, university and school student movement against any social isolation and racist attack of people based on sex, race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation and other personal traits, highlighting the class root of social inequalities.


The Central Committee of the KKE