Prime Minister’s adviser and minister sue fringe newspaper over homophobic front page

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[Intime News/Collage: Fotojet]

Two Greek government officials said on Monday they had sued fringe newspaper Makeleio over a homophobic front-page story that equates homosexuality with pedophilia and attempted to link them to Dimitris Lignadis, a prominent actor and director who was convicted last week of raping two men when they were minors.

The Saturday edition of the newspaper ran a front-page article that read, “’They were luring children and the monster was raping them.’ A conspiratorial pyramid of zoophiles and hardened perverts whose common denominator is the suspicious relations with the Prime Minister himself. He continued with: “Isn’t there a prosecutor determined to throw them in the dungeons?”

The article was accompanied by a large photo of Lignadis, flanked by smaller ones of other public figures, including Alex Patelis, chief economic adviser to the Greek prime minister, and Nicholas Yatromanolakis, deputy minister responsible for contemporary culture. Both officials are openly gay.

“Homosexuality is not bestiality and it is not perversion. The assimilation of homosexuality and pedophilia fuels homophobia and crimes of homophobic violence. Freedom of speech does not include the right to defamation and hate speech,” Patelis said on his Facebook page, describing the front page as “vomit-inducing.”

“Until today, I’ve ignored articles and headlines like today’s and haven’t engaged further. But maybe that’s giving the wrong message, especially at the time where we live,” Yatromanolakis posted on Facebook.

“I see this toxic climate being cultivated as a direct threat, not just to LGBTQI+ people, but to our society as a whole.”

Makeleio is a newspaper known for its outrageous headlines and anti-Semitic references. Its publisher, Stefanos Chios, has had several run-ins with the law over the years over offensive articles.

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