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Maria Cyber
State Homophobia in Greece

in GREECE, 01/02/2005

A new homophobic attack by the National Council for Radio and Television

On December 21, 2004 the National Council for Radio and Television (ESR) attempted to put an end to an entertainment and news radio show for lesbians and gays - the only one of its kind in Greece. The show has been on the air for the last eleven years every Thursday 23.00 till 1.00 h from Herakleion Municipal Broadcasting Company “Epikoinonia FM”. The ESR issued a fine of 5,000 euros against this small Municipal Broadcasting Company accusing the show of being “degrading.”

The statement released by the ESR does not explain at all why the show was considered “degrading” and only refers to a few phrases uttered by Maria Cyber during the broadcast and to two advertisements featured, one on condoms and the other one for a lesbian bar. It is evident to us that the mere existence of this lesbian-and-gay oriented show is what really annoyed the members of the National Radio and Television. It appears undeniable that the Council is simply trying to deprive lesbians and gays of their right to freedom of expression.

Maria Cyber and her radio show are the latest victims of the ESR’s notorious homophobia and the way its Board of Directors tries to demonize all homosexual acts. Last year we were witness to the same with a TV series on MEGA TV that showed two men kissing. At the same time they neglectfully let other shows on TV and radio refer to or talk about the homosexual community in a very discriminatory manner up to and including threats against LGBT people.

OLKE, within the context of Greek and European Constitution, calls on all organizations, human rights groups, and every open-minded citizen to condemn this homophobia that the ESR is trying to promote. We call on the President of the Greek Parliament and the vice presidents – who are responsible for choosing the Council’s members – plus all political parties to take a stand against this provocative statement. We also ask that they call for the resignation of the Council’s members, especially Mr. Laskarides - the president - because of his inability to disassociate his personal homophobia from the meaning of the word “degrading.”

OLKE underlines the need to promote institutional rights for lesbians and gays in Greece, and specifically the inclusion of sexual orientation in the anti-racism law. OLKE also proposes to all national institutions to support the initiative of International Homophobia Awareness Day on May 17th.

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