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World News

‘God created Adam and Eve’: footballer sentenced to prison for anti-LGBT comments

by Kelly Valencia

A Greek football legend has been sentenced to time in prison after he criticised a gender identity law on social media.

Retired midfielder Vasilis Tsiartas has been sentenced by an Athens court to ten months in prison and a 5,000 fine after he was charged with hate speech following comments he made in 2017.

Tsiartas wrote on his Facebook page that he hoped "the first sex changes are carried out on the children of those who ratified this abomination," according to news outlet The Greek Times.

"Legitimise paedophiles, too, to complete the crimes," he continued. Tsiartas later added "God created Adam and Eve”.

The law being criticised by the Tsiartas removed the medical requirement from the process of changing legal gender, and dropped the minimum age to 15.

Following his comments, prominent Greek trans activist Marina Galanos filed a lawsuit against him.

The 49-year-old has become the first person to be convicted after Greece introduced an anti-racist law for public incitement of violence or hatred on the basis of gender identity.

The Transgender Support Association (SYD) described Tsiartas' conviction as "particularly important for the transgender community."

Reacting to the news on Twitter, Tsiartas said he will be appealing the decision.

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