World

Greece: Gay partnership delay draws protests, in wake on European court ruling

  • A gay couple kisses during a protest outside Greece's Parliament in Athens on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Several hundred people took part in the peaceful march to Parliament, which is debating draft legislation to outlaw Holocaust denial and expand prosecution powers against the incitement of racial violence. Gay and Lesbian rights groups complain that the proposed legislation will not adequately address attacks on homosexual people, which they say are on the rise. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    A gay couple kisses during a protest outside Greece's Parliament in Athens on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Several hundred people took part in the peaceful march to Parliament, which is debating draft legislation to outlaw Holocaust denial and expand prosecution powers against the incitement of racial violence. Gay and Lesbian rights groups complain that the proposed legislation will not adequately address attacks on homosexual people, which they say are on the rise. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Transsexual Anna Kouroupou takes part in a protest outside Greece's Parliament in Athens on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Several hundred people took part in the peaceful march to Parliament, which is debating draft legislation to outlaw Holocaust denial and expand prosecution powers against the incitement of racial violence. Gay and Lesbian rights groups complain that the proposed legislation will not adequately address attacks on homosexual people, which they say are on the rise. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Transsexual Anna Kouroupou takes part in a protest outside Greece's Parliament in Athens on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Several hundred people took part in the peaceful march to Parliament, which is debating draft legislation to outlaw Holocaust denial and expand prosecution powers against the incitement of racial violence. Gay and Lesbian rights groups complain that the proposed legislation will not adequately address attacks on homosexual people, which they say are on the rise. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • A lesbian couple Christina, left, and Ioanna hold a banner that reads ''Same taxes, same rights'' during a protest outside Greece's Parliament in Athens on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Several hundred people took part in the peaceful march to Parliament, which is debating draft legislation to outlaw Holocaust denial and expand prosecution powers against the incitement of racial violence. Gay and Lesbian rights groups complain that the proposed legislation will not adequately address attacks on homosexual people, which they say are on the rise. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    A lesbian couple Christina, left, and Ioanna hold a banner that reads ''Same taxes, same rights'' during a protest outside Greece's Parliament in Athens on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Several hundred people took part in the peaceful march to Parliament, which is debating draft legislation to outlaw Holocaust denial and expand prosecution powers against the incitement of racial violence. Gay and Lesbian rights groups complain that the proposed legislation will not adequately address attacks on homosexual people, which they say are on the rise. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

Gay rights protesters have gathered outside Greece's parliament after the government said it would delay legislation allowing civil unions for same-sex couples, despite a recent European court ruling against the country on the issue.

About 500 people joined the peaceful protest in central Athens Friday, held while lawmakers prepared to vote on an anti-racism bill.

Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou said civil partnerships had been left out of the legislation because further study was needed on how the partnerships would affect the tax and social insurance system as well as family law.

Last November, the Council of Europe's Court of Human Rights ruled that Greek legislation was discriminatory, and ordered the country to pay damages to four gay couples who took the case to the court in Strasbourg, France.