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Attack on two transgender people shocks Greek city due to host Pride event

WorldAttack on two transgender people shocks Greek city due to host Pride event

Two transgender people have been attacked in Greece in a city due to host an international Pride event later this year.

Nine people have been jailed and will be tried on Monday over accusations they harassed and threatened two 21-year-old transgender persons in the northern city of Thessaloniki.

The nine were remanded after appearing before a prosecutor on Sunday. Twelve other people, all children, were released pending trial on the same charges before a juvenile court.

News site thestival.gr reports the incident happened at 10.30pm in a central square in the city popular with tourists. It adds that the two people ran from the mob into a nearby restaurant and had bottles thrown at them.

Police said some of the group then attempted to enter the restaurant.

Police arrived and led the victims away, detaining the suspects on the spot. It was while they were escorted out of the restaurant that the two people were hit by bottles, police said, adding that they were not seriously injured.

The charges include abuse with bigoted intent. Two of the adults, who allegedly threw bottles at the transgender persons, were also charged with assault.

The attack happened as the city hosts the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.

Videos of the incident have been posted online with a gang of young people appearing to be shouting abuse.

Thessaloniki is due to host EuroPride this year, an international LGBT+ event featuring a Pride parade, hosted by a different European city each year.

The city won the event in October 2017 and it was due to take place in Thessaloniki in 2020 but was cancelled due to the pandemic. It will now be between June 21 and 29.

Police said they are looking for more people who might have been involved in the incident that drew widespread condemnation from politicians.

Greece’s decision last month to legalize same-sex marriage and grant full parental rights to same-sex couples has faced backlash from the Orthodox church and from the far right.

While polls show that a slender majority of Greek public opinion backs same-sex marriage, the Church has made it clear its thoughts at the legalisation. On Tuesday, Church officials on the island of Corfu imposed a religious ban on two local lawmakers who voted for the reform.

Greece is the first majority Orthodox Christian country to allow same-sex marriage. It legalized same-sex civil unions nearly a decade ago.

Greek author Petros Hadjopoulos, who uses the pen name Auguste Corteau, kisses his husband’s hand, lawyer Anastasios Samouilidis, during their wedding at Athens City Hall, Greece, on Thursday, March 7, 2024

(Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Last week a novelist and his partner became the first same-sex couple to be married in Athens’ city hall.

The Greek capital’s mayor officiated at the civil wedding of Petros Hadjopoulos, who writes under the pen name Auguste Corteau, and lawyer Anastasios Samouilidis.

Hadjopoulos said the event was “a dream that we didn’t dare entertain when we were in our teens.”

“There is a symbolism to this,” he told The Associated Press. “I understand that (marriage) doesn’t work for everyone, but for people who grew up in Greece in the 1980s and 90s, when guys like us lived a very lonely existence, even symbols have a great value.”

The couple arrived with their dog, to the applause of more than two dozen guests.

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