New Democracy MP Gerasimos Giakoumatos apologizes for homophobic statement

New Democracy MP Gerasimos Giakoumatos issued an apology on Thursday after saying in an interview that homosexuality is a “contagious disease”.

“If you watch television, which is available in every house, all successful examples [of people], 90 percent, are homosexuals. When the child sees that it goes up and up, it contracts it. It’s a contagious disease,” Giakoumatos told newspaper “Parapolitika”. His statement caused uproar by opposition parties and was fiercely criticized on social media.

“Because there are many games being played and there’s a lot of distortion in social media on an interview I gave to the newspaper ‘Parapolitika’, I would like to clarify that: I have never been and am not a homophobic, and I state this clearly. I clarify that I fully respect every person’s sexual orientation. The quote in question related to a conversation about role models,” the lawmaker said in a press release.

“I’ve been a pathologist for over 40 years and I could have never said that homosexuality is a disease. I have also voted the civil partnership agreement and the bill against any discrimination. For all those who were insulted as a result of the misinformation of not-so-innocent media, I apologize.”

The leader of New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said in a tweet Giakoumatos’ statement was “unfortunate”.
“I asked him to withdraw it and apologize to those affected. ND does not tolerate any discrimination,” Mitsotakis tweeted.