Retired Greek soccer player Vassilis Tsiartas was fined €5,000 and sentenced to 10 months in jail by an Athens misdemeanor court last week after criticizing a bill in 2017 that would have lowered the legal age for "sex changes" to 15 years old.
Tsiartas' prison sentence is suspended, meaning he will go to prison if he commits another violation within a certain time frame. He plans to appeal the decision.
"I hope that the first gender changes will be made to the children of those who voted for this disgrace," Tsiartas said on Facebook in 2017. "Let's see with what pride they will be released. PS: Legalize the pedophiles too, complete the crimes."
Tsiartas followed up with another post after receiving pushback online for his initial comments.
"Regarding some people who send me messages in my inbox without being my friends and tell me what a problem I have with gay and same-sex couples, I have the following to say to them: Anyone can have their preferences whether they are a man or a woman and I completely respect that. For me, however, a couple is only a man and a woman, the rest are JUST TOGETHER. I'm not going to accept all the weddings, all the parades and anything else they do as normal. Of course, the fact that they want to have children as well as going out in public to demonstrate it is beyond me. At home, everyone can do what they want. And those who don't agree are racists and various such abominations should be said elsewhere. Dignity exists beyond the aesthetics of each person. God created Adam and Eve. The rest were manufactured for consumption."
The sentence comes after Tsiartas was reportedly targeted by "prominent Greek trans activist" Marina Galanos and the Transgender Support Association with a lawsuit. The group called the sentence "particular important for the transgender community."
Tsiartas is the first person to be convicted under Greece's law for "public incitement to violence or hatred due to gender identity," Reduxx reports:
Following Tsiartas' conviction on Thursday, another man was sentenced for similar "transphobic" statements made on social media as a result of a lawsuit filed by Marina Galanos. The unnamed individual was handed a 7 month jail term, suspended.
Galanos' lawyer, Vassals Sotiropoulos, boasted about the convictions in a thread posted to social media.
Tsiartas played four seasons for Sevilla FC and won UEFA Euro 2004 with the Greek national team.