Sunday, May 04, 2008

Islanders want legal right to be 'true lesbians'

Residents of the Greek island of Lesbos launched a legal action yesterday against a homosexual group, insisting that only islanders had the right to call themselves lesbians.

Sappho (650BC) the lyrical poetess, born on the Isle of Lesbos
Lesbos is synonymous with the love verses of the poet Sappho


The inhabitants of the island said they were attempting to ban the Greek Gay and Lesbian Union (Olke) from bearing the name "lesbian".

Residents of Lesbos now suffer "psychological and moral rape" from the "seizure" of their island's name by gays, according to the complaint by Dimitris Lambrou, a local activist. He has set out his argument in "The Misfortune of Being Lesbian", published on his website.

Mr Lambrou, who has the support of a member of a nationalist pagan association, said that the case was likely to come before a court in Athens in June.

But Evangelia Vlam, a spokesman for Olke, dismissed the claim.

"This affair is totally ridiculous," she said. "But if we are summoned by the courts, we will be heard."

Lesbos is synonymous with the love verses of the poet Sappho, who expressed her love of other women in poetry written in the early sixth century BC.

It is the third largest of the Greek islands and lies just a few miles off the Turkish mainland. It is often referred to in Greece not as Lesbos but as Mytilene, after its capital. The resort of Eressos is a popular tourist destination for lesbians.