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Greeks Quarrel Over Rights of Unmarried Couples

In Athens, a plan to grant unmarried couples increased rights has upset both conservative and progressive forces. The government wants to grant heterosexual "common law" couples rights analogous to marriage, if the couples sign a simple notary contract. So you could have a legally binding relationship, without the big fat Greek wedding.

The influential Greek Orthodox Church equates common law relationships with prostitution. The Church's governing council is decrying the plan, maintaining that legal recognition of relationships outside of marriage would set off a catastrophic bomb under the foundation of Greek society.

The homosexual community thinks the plan must go further, to see how,

. The homosexual community asserts that the plan constitutes discrimination by only extending rights to heterosexual couples. Traditional and forward-looking forces are tugging at a Greek society attempting to modernize.

Relationships of mutual obligation, as well as families, are essential to a prospering society. Do you think Athens's plan will help strengthen important relationships, even if they don't fit the traditional mold? Having two heterosexual couples enter into a legally binding relationship sounds a lot like marriage to me. Do you think these alternative couples are more likely to sign the contract, so long as it's not called "marriage?" Why?

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