Greek soccer star to appeal prison sentence for ‘transphobia’

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Vasilis Tsiartas fined over $5,000 and 10 months in jail for alleged ‘transphobic’ comments by opposing transgender children

Greek football star Vasilis Tsiartas
Greek soccer star Vasilis Tsiartas in a photo uploaded to Wikimedia on March 29, 2006. |

A former Greek soccer star has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for a 2017 social media post that claimed ‘God created Adam and Eve’ in response to a law proposing a redefinition of gender identity.

Vasilis Tsiartas, 49, a former midfielder for AEK Athens FC and the Greek national team, was convicted by the Athens Single Member Criminal Court and fined $5,165 (€5,000 ) for this position, according to The Times, a Greek media outlet.

Before the passage of a bill that would have lowered the age required to legally change gender identity to 15, Tsiartas wrote on Facebook that he hoped “the first sex changes will be carried out on children of those who have ratified this abomination. ”

Tsiartas also wrote: “Also legitimize pedophiles to complete the crimes”.

In a later article, he commented, “God created Adam and Eve.”

On November 4, Tsiartas said he would appeal the sentence and the fine.

The conviction marks “the first conviction of public incitement to violence or hatred (mainly) because of gender identity”, according to lawyer Vassilis Sotiropoulos.

The Transgender Support Association (SYD), which brought the lawsuit against Tsiartas, said the decision was “particularly important to the transgender community”.

Late SYD president Marina Galanou initially filed a lawsuit under Greece’s “anti-racism” law against Tsiartas and others who allegedly “threatened [Galanou’s] physical well-being or life and had used vulgar language to degrade himself,” the trans activist said, according to Greek media outlet themanews.com.

Leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church and the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith condemned the bill, which became law in October 2017.

The law allows people to change the gender listed on official documents with a court order, and without requiring medical tests or sterilization.

Prior to the bill’s passage, anyone seeking to change their identity from their birth sex to their chosen gender identity had to be diagnosed with “gender identity disorder” and have their reproductive organs removed, a practice condemned by human rights activists.

Considered one of the greatest Greek footballers of all time, Tsiartas was a key player in Greece’s UEFA Euro 2004 title race and was known for his incredible technical ability.

Statistically, Tsiartas had his best season as a pro in 1995–96, when he became the top scorer in the Greek league with 26 goals in 33 league appearances.

Tsiartas’ case evoked a similar fight involving a Christian doctor in England who refused to misidentify trans-identified people by using the wrong pronouns.

In 2018, Dr David Mackereth was working at the UK Department for Work and Pensions as a Disability Assessor. During his training, a senior employee told Mackereth and others that they should always address trans-identified people by their preferred pronoun, “per department policy.”

When Mackereth refused, citing his deep Christian beliefs, he was told he risked losing his job. A few days later, he was fired when he reiterated that he could not follow the policy in good conscience.

Mackereth appealed his dismissal to an employment tribunal, claiming his rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion had been violated. He told the panel that for religious reasons he could not refer to “a 6-foot-tall bearded man” as a “she” or a “she.”

He then quoted Genesis 1:27, “Thus God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Ian M. Giatti is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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