Independent MP Andreas Themistocleous was reported to the House special committee on ethics on Friday after he attacked a Green Party parliamentarian for welcoming the ban on conversion therapies.
Alexandra Attalides had commented on Cyprus’ historical decision on Thursday to criminalise the pseudo-treatments with a tweet saying the move will end the centuries-long torture of LGBTQIA individuals. She also advised patience saying a few more decades are needed to ensure the human rights of this group.
Citing her post above a screen shot of an old article when Attalides said she received messages threatening to “send her three black [men]”, Themistocleous wrote “it appears the three black [men] never arrived”.
The article was referring to when the Green MP had publicly reported that she was receiving threatening messages of racist and homophobic content for defending LGBTQIA+ and migrants rights. Among them was “we will send you three black [men]”.
Following the comment, the Green MP reported him to the parliamentary ethics committee.
Green Party’s women movement condemned the independent MP’s “unacceptable and sexist behaviour” toward their member. Saying they will stand by Attalides, the movement noted that there have been “numerous complaints” against Themistocleous in the past.
“This is not the first time that this MP has behaved in this unacceptable way, as we have seen his sexist, insulting and aggressive behaviour in the past, the vast majority of it against women and members of the LGBTI community.”
In February last year, the independent MP received a verbal reprimand over his inappropriate behaviour toward another Green Party official Efi Xanthou.
Despite this, his social media activity only appears to be growing more vulgar, the Green Party women said, calling on the House president to take necessary action.
Other officials, mainly of liberal beliefs, and members of the public sided with Attalides, denouncing Themistocleous’ comment.
The leader of the left-wing party, Stefanos Stefanou, called out the independent MP, saying he is “known for his intolerant views” and those who tolerate him are complicit.
“The new attack on Attalides goes beyond any limit of vulgarity. Enough! Tolerance is complicity.”
The chairperson of the House human rights committee, Irene Charalambides said Themistocleous “has no place in the ethics committee” as he is degrading the status of the parliament.
“The prestige of the parliament is completely eroded by the immoral comments he makes in public!” the Akel MP said.
Akel-affiliated women’s organisation Pogo said “we really cannot find words to describe the racist, sexist torrent of Mr Themistocleous”.
They also urged the House president, the ethics committee and the Human rights commissioner to intervene.
Meanwhile, a meme depicting Themistocleous half-naked at the beach with a black man is doing the rounds on social media. The man is telling him in Greek that he is only attacking the LGBTQIA+ community to hide his own homosexuality. The comment roughly translates as “Love, you can’t be a closeted gay for your whole life and accusing them so they don’t realise”.
Under the widely condemned post, other commentators applauded Themistocleous, with a woman saying “this one, she needs one fleet of blacks”.
Some even attacked the Attalides’ migration policies.
After a comment referring her to the Pournara reception centre for asylum seekers a netizen said: “She cares more about immigrants than her own people who are quickly becoming a minority in their own country because of the huge influx of asylum seekers immigrants and illegal immigrants she loves so much”.
The previous day, Themistocleous posted in response of a protest by members of the LGBTQIA+ community outside parliament urging them to keep “away, far far away your hands from schools, our families and children”.
The independent MP hit the headlines last year after he said in parliament that mandatory sex education in schools will teach children that homosexuality is “okay”.
“We are living in a porn-fuelled and gay storm,” the MP had said, noting how the relevant law “was guided by a diseased brain.
“The law is nothing but an abomination. It is disgusting, deplorable and sad. We will teach children that it’s ok for two women to kiss each other, and for men the same. We will teach them that two women or two men can have a child.”