Against Italian Homophobia – Urgent! Call for Action
The reason why we’ve decided to contact you is because we believe that your support to our cause is vital. It could help us raise the profile of the struggle for equality that we are fighting in our own country.
We are outraged and appalled at the wave of homophobia we are seeing growing every day, and at the increasing number of hate crimes being committed against people because of their sexual orientation, both in Italy and abroad. The recent cases in Italy as in the rest of Europe are testimony to this awful spread in violence.
But we would like to draw your attention on something which might be happening at thousands of kilometres away, but nevertheless affect us all because it shows how barbaric, violent and homophobic our so-called “Western civilisation” is becoming.
The Italian parliament just yesterday scrapped a bill aimed at protecting gay people from hate crimes, on the grounds that it would violate the country’s national constitution. A debate over the introduction of such legislation had stemmed from the wave of murders, beatings, verbal aggressions and acts of bullying against LGBT people occurred in Italy in the last few months.
However, the Italian parliament’s justification for throwing out the bill – which would have raised penalties against acts of violence motivated by homophobia – was simply absurd: they said that it would give “unequal protection” to gays compared to other groups, violating the principle of equality.
A number of MPs even motivated their choice by saying that the very expression “sexual orientation” is in itself “ambiguous”, as it could include things like paedophilia, zoophilia, necrophilia, incest and so on. And they didn’t simply state it verbally, but put it writing in a legal document that the majority of the parliament then approved.
This is delirious and insulting for our own dignity of Italians, but also for the dignity of every gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual person living anywhere in Europe and in the world. It effectively touches each and every one of us living in the EU, because we are all part of the same Union, and there are basic principles of equality and respect that all of our governments are bound to respect.
Following the bill rejection, the United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights said that the Italian Parliament’s stance is a “step backward for human rights in Italy”.
We ask you to support us in our battle for equality, by helping us organise and hold a protest/demonstration in front of the Italian embassy as soon as possible, involving as many people as possible to have our voice clearly heard.
Helping us protect LGBT rights in Italy today also means protecting your own rights to be yourselves, to live and to exist tomorrow in every part of the world.
Arcigay – Gay & Lesbian Italian Association
Italian Embassies All Around The World
Write An E-Mail To:
Giorgio Napolitano – President of Italian Republic
Gianfranco Fini – President of House of Representatives
Renato Schifani – President of Senate
Silvio Berlusconi – Prime Minister
Mara Carfagna – Minister for Equal Opportunities