Archive for the ‘Arcigay’ Category

Sent by Maurizio Cecconi

Dear friends,

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


Vatican refusal to back UN gay rights declaration is true to form by Therion

The Vatican refusal to sign the declaration before the UN that seeks to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide is true to form. In a recent ‘clarification’ the Vatican claims that while it has declined to sign-on, it condemns ‘unjust’ discrimination against homosexuals – without saying what exactly might constitute just discrimination.

By exempting itself from the list of states calling for decriminalization, the Vatican is in effect handing moral authority to those nations that are determined to keep homosexuals on the periphery of society, under fear of being persecuted for the ‘crime’ of gay orientation.

The two-faced position adopted by the Vatican is nothing new.

In a recent Guardian article, Peter Tatchell covers part of the Vatican’s abysmal track record on gay rights.

Unsurprisingly, the Vatican and the Organisation of Islamic States are leading the fight against the UN declaration. The opposition of the Pope is truly sickening, depraved and shameless.Of course, the Vatican has form. In 2004, it teamed up with Islamist dictatorships in the UN Commission on Human Rights to thwart a resolution sponsored by Brazil that opposed homophobic violence and discrimination. The Holy See is so viciously homophobic that it opposed the UN condemnation of the murder of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Recently a sit-in was staged near St Peter’s Square to protest the Vatican’s position on the declaration. Protesters sat under the banners of Arcigay and Arcilesbica – the two main gay and lesbian advocacy groups in Italy.

pope-22The main thrust of the Vatican position hinges on UN envoy Migliore’s convoluted contention that signing the document might “pillory” countries where homosexuality is illegal and force them to create “new categories (gay people) protected from discrimination.” And this is a bad thing?

Of course the main concern is that ‘normalizing’ homosexuality might lead to same-sex unions. But this makes little sense. The social sanctions and taboos against same-sex marriage in countries where homosexuality is outlawed makes the Vatican’s stated concerns about same-sex marriage little more than a red herring. It is an excuse to avoid stepping up to the plate on this issue… a posture consistent with the Vatican’s homophobic agenda.

Full article


By Therion

When Italian TV aired Brokeback Mountain recently, gay love scenes had been excised. The missing scenes featured a kiss between actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal along with a love scene in a tent.

This wasn’t because the censor had a problem with sexual content per se … a heterosexual love scene stayed in place.

State TV network Rai Due isn’t exactly progressive. It has a fondness for airing biopics of popes. It has as-good-as banned the comedian Sabina Guzzanti – best known for her satirical attacks on the pope and Berlusconi.

It is interesting that the removal of gay content from Brokeback Mountain comes on the same week the Vatican launched an attack on an EU proposal to have the UN move to condemn discrimination against gay people. The Vatican thinks that defending the human rights of homosexuals might open the door for gay marriage … duh.

When a row erupted over the censored content, Rai Due offered some far-fetched excuse related to technical and administrative matters in an effort to claim that it was all an honest mistake. Not many buy this, certainly not opposition senator Luigi Vimercati who described Rai Due’s excuse as “embarrassing” and is calling for a parliamentary enquiry.

The Italian gay rights organization Arcigay believes the suppressing of gay content in the movie is a reflection of the times. There has been a rise in violence against gay people in Italy. Arcigay spokesperson, Matteo Ricci said: “The resistance by politicians of all stripes, backed by the Vatican, to same-sex unions has created the basis for the climate of hostility.”


By Tony Grew • Pink News • December 9, 2008

Hundreds of people protested outside the Vatican City on Saturday in support of a declaration calling for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality to be presented at the UN this week.

Some wore a noose around their neck, others held candles and displayed rainbow flags.

They were protesting the Vatican’s hostile stance towards the declaration, which is being presented by France on behalf of the EU.

Monsignor Celestino Migliore, the Holy See’s permanent observer at the UN, said last week that the declaration could be used to force countries to recognise same-sex marriage.

“If adopted, they would create new and implacable discriminations,” he said.

“For example, states which do not recognise same-sex unions as ‘matrimony’ will be pilloried and made an object of pressure.”

More than 90 countries outlaw same-sex relations in all circumstances.

The maximum punishments range from a few years jail to life imprisonment.

In nine countries, or regions of countries, the mandatory punishment for homosexuality is death by execution.

There is no mention of same-sex marriage in the UN declaration.

Only a handful of countries recognise gay and lesbian marriages, among them Canada, Belgium and South Africa.

Aurelio Mancuso, national president of Italian gay rights group Arcigay, said the Vatican was wicked.

“What happened today is extremely important,” he said after the protest.

“LGBT people have launched a global campaign in defence of life and dignity of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender citizens and the wickedness of Vatican politicians must not prevail over the human rights.”

There were a series of other rallies across Italy – Acrigay said they hoped to start a constructive dialogue with the “community of believers who, as many polls confirm, disagree with the Holy See position.”

The French initiative is backed by all EU nations along with Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Ukraine, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

In the Americas the most notable absence is the United States.

Canada has signed up alongside Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay.

Three African nations – Gabon, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau – are committed to the declaration alongside New Zealand, Israel, Armenia and Japan.

Louis Georges Tin, the founder of the Inernational Day Against Homophobia, is behind the universal decriminalisation declaration.

He met with Rama Yade, France’s minister of human rights and foreign affairs, earlier this year.

In September she confirmed that she will appeal at the United Nations for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Until the end of 2008 France will speak for all EU member states at the UN General Assembly, as they hold the rotating Presidency of the European Union.

The French initiative on decrminalisation will take the form of a solemn declaration from UN states, rather than a vote in the UN on the matter.

France will submit a draft declaration at the UN General Assembly between December 15th and 20th. The British government already advocates universal decriminalisation.

Australian gay rights activist Rodney Croome is claiming the Australian government “intends to support” the declaration.

See also :