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Greek soccer superstar Vassilis TsiartasAEK Athènes France / Twitter

(LifeSiteNews) – Remember when the LGBT movement insisted, over and over again, that there is no conflict between the “rights” they were demanding and the rights that we then enjoyed—rights like freedom of speech and freedom of religion? They were lying, and they knew it. Trans activists were never satisfied with simply being able to identify however they chose—they wanted to force us all to affirm their chosen identities. They were also never willing to tolerate dissent. Any objection to their worldview is denounced as hate speech that has no place in the society they are currently creating. 

The latest victim of the tolerance buzzsaw is Vassilis Tsiartas, widely considered to be one of the greatest Greek soccer stars of all time. Back in 2017, he posted his objection to sex change surgeries for children on his social media, posting angrily that: “I hope the first sex changes are carried out on the children of those who ratified this abomination. Legitimize pedophiles, too, to complete the crimes.” Shortly thereafter, he posted: “God created Adam and Eve.” 

For that “transphobic” objection to the permanent mutilation of children, Tsiartas was given a ten-month suspended prison sentence and given a 5,000 euro fine. He was taken to the Single-Member Misdemeanor Court of Athens by the Transgender Support Association (SYD), which accused him of a public incitement to “violence or hatred for reasons of gender identity,” which they claimed was “particularly important for the transgender community.” This is the first conviction in Greece under the law banning a “public incitement to violence or hatred on the basis of gender identity,” despite the fact that Tsiartas was doing no such thing. 

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Most media outlets, including Greek City Times, parroted the SYD’s talking points and unquestioningly accepted the trans movement’s assertions that Tsiartas’s objections to sex changes for children constituted a hate crime, stating that: “It is recalled that Tsiartas in 2017, specifically shortly before the passing of the bill for the redefinition of gender identity, had proceeded to post a statement through which he incited readers to acts of hatred and discrimination.” At no point was any evidence for the claim that the soccer player had “incited readers to acts of hatred and discrimination” provided. 

The Transgender Support Association stated that it was pleased with the sentence, and that it has encouraged them to continue on in combatting discrimination, presumably by bringing charges against more people who post disagreement with their worldview on social media. Tsiartas is planning to appeal both the prison sentence and the fine and says he will reveal more details soon. 

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Tsiartas’ persecution is part of a growing trend. Finnish politician Paivi Rasanen has been fighting charges leveled against her for “hateful” social media posts disagreeing with the LGBT movement for several years; men and women in the United Kingdom have received aggressive visits from police solely due to social media posts expressing their disagreement with the transgender movement; and in 2019, a judge actually excoriated a construction worker in Scotland for daring to laugh at a biological male dressing as female, informing the man that his children should be ashamed of him and demanding that he pay the trans activist who’d called the cops 500 pounds as well as an additional 500 pound fine. 

The transgender movement is weaponizing the forces of the state against dissenters, and not even sports superstars are immune. Hopefully his sentence will be thrown out by a saner judge more firmly rooted in reality. If not, his conviction will have set a dangerous precedent for the entire country—and one that is sure to be used again.    

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.