Greece acknowledged and celebrated the annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on Monday.
The first International Day Against Homophobia was held on May 17, 2005. The specific date of May 17 was chosen to commemorate the day the World Health Organisation officially removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases in 1990.
‘Greek society has made remarkable progress’:
Greek President, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, noted on Monday the “remarkable progress” made by society in combatting prejudice against the LGBTQ community and added that it is “the Greek state’s turn” to step up in the battle against any discrimination that “undermines the principle of equality or restricts the rights of citizens due to their gender identity, gender characteristics or sexual orientation.”
In a meeting with representatives of the LGBTQ community at her office in Athens, Sakellaropoulou in particular stressed the need for measures to combat discrimination in the school environment and to protect LGBTQ children and their families from stigmatisation.
Sakellaropoulou met with Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos, a professor at Athens Law School, former president at the European Court of Human Rights and president of the National Strategy Committee for LGBTQ Equality, as well as with committee members Katerina Fountedaki, who teaches civil law at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, and Stella Belia, who is also the president of Rainbow Families Greece, a nongovernmental organisation dedicated to supporting LGBTQ families and parents.
Greek PM condemns homophobia, biphobia and transphobia:
The Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, also acknowledged the day on Monday. In a message posted on Twitter, he condemned homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, which still runs rampant in Greece.
“Greece in the 21st century welcomes the day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia by fighting to eradicate the sad reasons that caused it to be established,” Mitsotakis wrote.
“We do this with horizontal legislative measures in the workplace and every sector of public life. With initiatives such as shaping a National Strategy for LGBTQI+ equality. But also with behaviours that overcome stereotypes and promote creative coexistence.”
In his message, he stressed that modern democracies such as Greece should not tolerate discrimination based on any characteristics such as race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.