Cornell expert on same-sex marriage in Greece vote

On Thursday, Greek parliament will vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage. It would be the first Orthodox Christian country to take that step.

Landon Schnabel is the Robert and Ann Rosenthal Assistant Professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences. He studies social inequality with a focus on religion. He says that legalizing same-sex marriage in Greece would show other Eastern Orthodox Christians that providing rights does not undermine culture and values.

Schnabel says: “If Greek lawmakers legalize same-sex marriage, it would be an important, landmark decision, as it would create a pathway for other Orthodox Christian countries to move in a similar way. It’s harder to be the first, but once someone else has done it, other countries can look to Greece’s example and use it.

“Some of the hesitancy for movement in this direction in Orthodox Christian countries is likely impacted by the key factors of tradition and cultural distinction. Orthodox Christians tend to care a lot about tradition and continuity of culture and values. They may see something like same-sex marriage as a Western (and Protestant and Catholic) thing that is not for their culture, their traditions, their values.

“However, if one Orthodox Christian country does legalize same-sex marriage, others can look to it as an example of a country and a culture more like their own as having done it, rather than only Western countries doing it. Also, presumably, tradition will not crumble after legalization in Greece. It then becomes less of a symbolic boundary dividing cultural regions and more of an option for Eastern Orthodox Christians to consider for themselves.”

For interviews contact Abby Shroba Kozlowski: cell 607-229-2681;

More News from A&S

Doorway decorated with a wooden cross and colorful painting of four figures
Despina Galani Unsplash Church doorway in Paros, Greece