Greek Bishop Condemns Gay Pride, Homosexuality
A prominent Greek Orthodox bishop is making headlines this week after saying homosexuality is a "perversion of human existence" and Gay Pride is a "disgrace and a challenge," Pink News reports.
Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki's comments were made about Thessaloniki's pride parade. Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and fifth largest and most populated city in the Balkans.
"Do not give dogs what is holy," the bishop said, quoting Matthew. "Show respect that my position and life is wholly dedicated to the church and the people and respect the fact that I'm well behaved, so don't associate me with this disgrace. Enough. This is a perversion of the human existence."
He added that he may attend an anti-gay vigil by Christian organizations on Friday to protest the Pride event, which will take place Friday and Saturday (June 20-21).
Gay Star News reports anti-gay groups affiliated with the Greek Orthodox Church gathered nearly 20,000 signatures for a petition, calling for a ban on Gay Pride and urging parents and their children to be free from "unholy and unnatural events."
Thessaloniki Mayor Yannis Boutaris says he doesn't have share the same views as Bishop Anthimos when it comes to the LGBT community.
"We see eye to eye on many issues with the bishop and we have a very good cooperation," he said. "On other issues, we just don't share the same view and we don't cooperate."
As Pink Star notes, the Thessaloniki Pride event in 2012 drew dozens of people who threw eggs and bottles of water at the 400 people participating in the event. Additionally, a Greek bishop last year threatened to excommunicate any officials in his diocese who supports same-sex civil partnership legislation.
Greece's ban on same-sex civil unions goes against the European Convention of Human Rights. On November 7, the European Court of Human Rights said excluding same-sex couples from legal recognition was wrong, Pink Star reports.