Mayor of Volos calls SYRIZA leader Kasselakis a “fa***t” – Athens Prosecutor orders investigation

Achilleas Beos, Stefanos Kasselakis, Volos

The newly-elected Mayor of Volos, Achilleas Beos, is being investigated following an Athens Supreme Court prosecutor order due to comments he made during his Sunday night victory speech and a subsequent TV interview as they were deemed homophobic and hate speech.

Beos in a speech at his party headquarters after his victory, referred to the leader of SYRIZA and his expressed intention to have two boys with his male partner Tyler, wondering if the role model of “faggots” is what Greece needed, Proto Thema reported.

The mayor repeated similar comments in a subsequent TV interview on Ant-1 TV.

Supreme Court Prosecutor Georgia Adilini mandated an investigation following the statements to examine if the law (4285/2014 ) on racism had been violated and if his stance could cause violence and incite hatred against homosexuals.

Greece’s first openly gay political party leader says he deliberately tried to “stir stagnant waters” and tackle the taboo subject of same-sex couples having children when he announced he and his partner planned to become parents through surrogacy.

Weeks after his unexpected election to the helm of the main opposition left-wing SYRIZA, Stefanos Kasselakis insisted his comments had aimed to give the issue visibility in a nation where LGBT rights were rarely publicly discussed.

“Love makes the family. These are issues solved in other countries, but not Greece,” the Greek-American businessman wrote on Facebook late Friday. “That’s why I entered politics. To stir stagnant waters, awaken consciences, and not caress them in their sleep.”

The 35-year-old was responding to the ferocious backlash he has faced since declaring that he and his American husband, Tyler McBeth, wanted to enlarge their family by having sons.

“Tyler and I would like to expand our family with two boys, Apollon and Elias, with a surrogate mother because we would like each of our personalities to be transferred to the children,” he said in a televised interview aired late Thursday.

Criticism has not only come from social conservatives in a society heavily influenced by the powerful Greek Orthodox church but also from progressives in Syriza who accused them of misogyny and narcissism.

Leading the charge, Elena Akrita, a Syriza MP and vocal supporter of Kasselakis despite the controversy over the former shipping executive’s surprise leadership candidacy, hit back, saying rather than the “reproduction of our DNA” it was, in her own experience as the mother of an adopted child, love and affection that counted when raising offspring.

As the outcry mounted, Kasselakis denied that he preferred “a particular gender” saying his comments had been spurred by what he described as a sense of responsibility and empathy. “I expressed a wish, but do I really prefer a child to have a particular gender? This is not a matter of choice. It’s a matter of responsibility and empathy. In every couple – heterosexual or same-sex – the goal is to be able to be a good parent. There are wonderful pairs of dads raising wonderful girls.”

In his case, he wrote, there were “unanswered questions” about whether he could rise to the challenge of raising a girl.

While in power between 2015 and 2019, Syriza enacted cohabitation agreements for same-sex couples but stopped short of legalising same-sex marriage, a stance described as “a mistake” by Kasselakis.

One of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s first policy announcements, made within days of winning a second four-year term of office in June, was to make clear it would be introduced.

“Same-sex marriage will happen at some point, and it’s part of our strategy,” he told Bloomberg TV. “Greek society is much more ready and mature.”

READ MORE: SYRIZA demands Greece to host Palestinian refugees.

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