A Greek soccer legend has been sentenced to jail over comments he made five years ago in response to laws proposing a redefinition of gender identity and the lowering of the minimum age for medical transition treatment to 15 in Greece.
Vassilis Tsiartas posted that “God created Adam and Eve” while expressing hope that the first patients to undergo the procedure would be the children of those who voted for the legislation.
The laws allow people to change their gender on official documents with a court ruling and without requiring medical tests or treatment.
Leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church and the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith also condemned the laws.
Tsiartas was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment and fined around A$8,000 but both penalties were suspended on the provision he doesn’t reoffend.
It is the first conviction under an anti-racism law which prohibits public incitement to violence or hatred on the basis of gender identity.
Tsiartas who’s regarded as one of the greatest Greek soccer players of all time is planning to appeal the sentence.
The 49-year-old retired player is renowned for never receiving a red card during his entire football career.
He has previously voiced Biblical views on extreme gender ideology and redefining marriage.
“Anyone can have his preferences whether he is a man or a woman, and I completely respect that. For me, however, a couple is only a man and a woman, the rest are just together,” he wrote.