By Katerina Papadea,
Nowadays, given the great growth and spread of the LGBTQIA+ movement, sexual self-determination seems to be taking on a less anachronistic dimension. Homosexuality ceases to be a ‘disease’ and sexual orientation ceases to move between decisions or choices taking root in biological origins, as psychiatrist Philippe Brennot put it. The important point, however, which is also an evolution, compared to the past, is the legitimation of sexual freedom and self-determination. With the legalization of sexual freedom and the recognition of the right to gender reassignment comes the saying of the French thinker Montesquieu, who defines freedom as the right to do whatever the law allows.
The key question is: how do we talk about the legitimacy of sexual freedom when there is no explicit constitutional reference to this right? Precisely, the Greek Constitution does not clearly state each person’s right to the free choice of his sexual partner, but sexual self-determination derives from Article 9 Paragraph 1B of the Constitution, which refers to the right to protection of privacy. In the context of their private life, each person can voluntarily shape their sexuality, demanding non-intervention from the state and individuals. Through this article, sexual self-determination is recognized as a right, which means the right of every person to engage in sexual activity if they want to, with whomever they want, whenever and however they want, to shape his sexual life at will and to enjoy, as they desire, the pleasure that their body offers them. In addition, this right implies the non-criminalization of sexual behaviors that are not compatible with the ‘proper’ normal social norms. The only case in which the criminalization of sexual activity and behavior is legalized is in the absence of consent between adults. In any other case, the characterization of a person’s sexual behavior as immoral, because it deviates from social norms, constitutes contemptuous of individual behavior and unconstitutional behavior.
An extension of the right to sexual freedom end significantly linked to sexual self-determination is the fundamental right of a family. The institution of the family is particularly important for society, which is why it is under the protection of the state. In Article 1350 of the Civil Code, the conclusion of marriage presupposes the personal agreement of the bride and groom without any specialization as to whether this agreement should be made between persons of the opposite sex. In particular, the fact that one is gay does not deprive one of the fundamental rights enjoyed by other citizens, such as the right to free choice of partner and the freedom to form a family. This article, however, expresses the opposite of what is stipulated in the European Convention on Human Rights in which Article 12 makes explicit reference to a legal marriage between a man and a woman. However, this fact should not be misinterpreted, as every piece of legislation is based on the current era, the prevailing perceptions, and the good morals that characterize it. Therefore, the fact that something was not legalized in the past does not mean that it will provoke social reactions forever. The times are changing, societies, people, and perceptions are changing and therefore paving the way for social progress, which includes the formation of a family bond between homosexuals.
In conclusion, the fact that the person is sexually different does not mean social exclusion, especially in and progressive aids with constitutionally guaranteed rights. People of different sexual preferences should be treated equally with heterosexual couples and not be treated as inferior beings and does the same of society, as many have been quick to describe them. Precisely because society is evolving, people must evolve with it, realizing that each person’s sexual preferences have transcended the boundaries of morality and immorality and are merely an extension of the right to freedom and free development of personality. For this reason, it is understood that the creation of a family institution is a right to which everyone has access, regardless of their sexual orientation, and which is protected and requires the same respect that cohabitation between a man and a woman. Therefore, the past with its perceptions does not bind the present, which binds society and its people.
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