Italian Gays Under Siege


17.08.09: a foreign gay couple is attacked by a mob of youths in Agropoli, near Naples.
19.08.09: a gay singer is badly beaten up by a thug in Rome.
24.08.09: a thug attacks a gay couple in Rome, stabbing one and smashing a bottle on the other’s head.
24.08.09: a gay couple is abused and beaten by a neighbour over a parking quarrel in Rimini.
26.08.09: a gay disco, the Qube, host to the most famous gay night in the capital city, is the target of an incendiary attack.
28.09.09: a gay couple living in Caserta, near Naples, is abused by their neighbours who threathen to make a petition to throw them out from their block of flats.
Italian Gays Under Siege
This gruesome chain of events sounds like a war bulletin, given the close proximity in time, and while is in itself terribly shocking and demanding immediate attention from the gay community and the dormant Italian authorities, it’s only the tip of the iceberg – Italian gay organization Arcigay claims that since January of this year, 56 episodes of homophobic attacks have already been reported. And the key word here is ‘reported’, as we only know too well that not everyone is willing to report crimes for whatever reason.
The question is: how many more? how many more gays have to be verbally abused, phisically attacked, stabbed, beaten, you name it, before the Italian parliament comes up with a shred of law which protects their gay citizens against homophobic-motivated attacks? A law which can be used as a deterrent, at best, and as an added punitive measure, at worst.
While Italy is becoming embroiled in his PM’s bedroom dealings with call-girls and Italian politics turns into a soap opera of the worst kind (which can only be representative of the current sad state of the nation), people in flesh and blood are still being treated as second class citizens. Italy is also one of the very few countries in the EU which still lacks a civil partnership law, which would finally legitimize, at least in the eyes of the law, a civil union between two gay people.
What was in the old times a cradle of civilization is sadly today a cradle of bigotry and conservatism, whose lay status is consistently threatened by the highly holy homophobic Church of Rome.
Who is responsible for this recent spate of crimes? Excessive heat in the way of 40 degrees can drive to insanity even the sanest of people. But jokes aside, the Vatican stance that a homophobic hate-crime law would open the gates to civil partnerships and the adoption of children from gay couples is well known, and so is a statement made by the pope in recent times comparing homosexuality to the destruction of the tropical forest (talk about incitement to hatred). A few Italian center-right wing politicians and even ministers (Alessandra Mussolini, Mirko Tremaglia, Roberto Calderoli) have freely, and with impunity, used the word ‘faggot’ to refer to homosexuals in recent times. The current government is led by a coalition of center and right wing parties which are traditionally anti-gay. And when all these factors are added up, you’d be excused for thinking that there’s enough to foster a climate of violence and give a thuggish retard the sense that beating up a persona non grata is no big deal.



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