Bishop Blasts Gay Pride Festival

THESSALONIKI – On the heels of gay parades on Cyprus and in Athens, Thessaloniki Bishop Anthimos said a two-day gay pride festival in Greece’s second-largest city is a “disgrace,” and that homosexuals are a “perversion of the human existence.”

“Do not give dogs what is holy,” he said quoting the gospel of Matthew.

That stance led the city’s outspoken mayor Yiannis Boutaris to try to bring some calm before the event.

“We see eye to eye on many issues with the bishop and we have a very good cooperation. On other issues, we just don’t share the same view and we don’t cooperate,” the recently re-elected Boutaris said ofi Bishop Anthimos.

The Thessaloniki Pride event take places on June 20-21. The recent Athens Gay Pride parade featured slogans supporting same-sex marriage and for lesbians, gay, bisexuals and transsexuals to be allowed to also adopt children.

The church and some conservative groups, such as the ultra-far right extremist Golden Dawn vehemently oppose gay rights and label gays with pejorative terms.