Protection of sexual orientation and gender identity from hate crimes

The 6th of March 2013 is a special day for the LGBT community of Greece, because it was then that the draft bill «About Addictive Substances and Other Provisions» was passed in principle by the House of Assembly, with the support of the political parties of SYRIZA, DIMAR and PASOK. It was brought to Parliament by the Minister of Justice,Transparency and Human Rights, Antonis Roupakiotis. 

Clearly, and for the first time, gender identity is included as grounds for protection against crimes motivated by hate in a draft bill which will be the law of Greece when it is published in the Government Gazette.  

More specifically, a provision is included that amends the Penal Code (PC) and particularly paragraph 3 of Article 79 of the PC, so that "The perpetration of an act of  hatred motivated by race, colour, religion, national or ethnic origin,  different sexual orientation, or gender identity of the victim, constitutes an aggravating circumstance and the sentence shall  not be suspended”. 

The Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece consider the law a positive step, which brings Greece closer to other European laws and practices. This law also underlines that the current composition of the House shows a substantive rather fragmentary disposition towards dialogue about the serious social issue of protecting not only sexual orientation, but also gender identity, from homophobic and transphobic hate attacks. Prevention remains the strongest weapon of society and this can be achieved through non-discriminatory intimidation education, and also by the substantial institutionalization of the protection of victims and witnesses. 

OLKE thanks the Members of the Greek Parliament and the Greek MEPs parties for supporting our positions and assisting us in carrying the message and voting in favour of a bill which for the first time states that all people are protected by the law. 

It is our honour to have them as our friends. 

The Board of OLKE 

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