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Greek gays to stage public kiss to protest TV fine

November 14, 2003 (update: November 17, 2003)

President of Greek Gay Community Vangelis Yiannelos (R) kisses an unidentified man in Athens 14 November 2003 (AFP) President of the Greek Gay Community Vangelis Yiannelos (R) kisses an unidentified man in Athens, 14 November 2003. Some twenty activists protested with a 'kiss-in' at Greece's media watchdog over its €100,000 fine against a television channel for showing a male couple kissing.
ATHENS — Greek gay rights activists called for gays to gather in Athens and kiss in public on Friday to protest a €100 000 fine imposed on a local television station for showing a male couple kissing.

"We hope there will be as many of us as possible. After all, our kisses are officially worth €100 000 now," Grigoris Valianatos, an activist organising the event told AFP Thursday.

The protest is scheduled for late Friday on the doorstep of the National Audiovisual Council, Greece's media watchdog.

On Wednesday, the council levelled a €100 000 ($117 000) fine on private television station Mega, Greece's second-biggest channel, for showing two young men kissing in popular late-night series "Close your eyes".

According to media observers, it was the first time that men were broadcast kissing in a popular Greek show.

The broadcast also contained "obscene atmosphere" and "unacceptable dialogue", council President Ioannis Laskaridis was quoted as saying.

"(Kissing men) is not a usual phenomenon. It is a particularity outside life's reproductive process," Laskaridis reportedly said. –Sapa-AFP

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