Thessaloniki mayor responds to gay pride comments

Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris sought to strike a diplomatic tone on Tuesday following controversial statements by a leading Orthodox cleric regarding the city’s upcoming gay pride festival.

“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 of Thessaloniki Bishop Anthimos.

Speaking of the Thessaloniki Pride event, which takes place on Friday and Saturday, Anthimos described homosexuality as a “perversion of the human existence” and attacked the annual festival as a “disgrace.”

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