The extreme right wrecks Italy’s law against homophobia

  • The League and Brothers of Italy, with the support of the centrist parties, prevent the examination of the legislative project in the upper house

Almost at the end of the legislative process for its approval, the Italian Parliament has buried a ground-breaking on Wednesday bill – criticized by the Vatican and even by a part of the Italian feminist movement – which sought to punish the discrimination and violence towards LGBTI people. Specifically, what has meant the fatal blow against the initiative has been the triumph of a motion to prevent its examination in the Italian Senate, presented by the far-right parties of the League and Brothers from Italy, and that unexpectedly was also endorsed by members of the centrist parties that make up the government coalition.

“A political pact that would have allowed the country to take a step towards civility has been betrayed,” he denounced. Alessandro Zan, the promoter of the text and deputy of the progressive Democratic Party (PD). “Yes, today they and their tricks have won, in the Senate. But the country is going in another direction and we will soon see,” added the head of the PD, Enrico Letta, on this legislation, which was to be the first in Italy about this issue.

The Senate’s decision comes after the legislation received, in November last year, the approval of the Chamber of Deputies, with 265 votes in favor and 193 against. An advance that, in June, had intensified criticism against the proposal. So much so that the Vatican authorities even asked for the modification of the law, considering that some passages violated the agreement that regulates relations between Italy and the Vatican (1929), including the freedom of thought for Catholics and the possibility that Catholic schools were not excluded from celebrating the National Day against homophobia.

Feminist rejection

Related news

Although this was not the only controversy. Also a part of traditional Italian feminism demonstrated to reject the suppression of the differentiation based on biological sex and the proposed definition of gender identity, by not recognizing that women suffer specific forms of discrimination (and that therefore, they are entitled to specific forms of protection such as compulsory work quotas). Something that angered Italian Catholic feminism, but also a part of the Italian lesbian associations. According to Zan’s proposal, in fact, gender identity was interpreted as “a perceived and manifest definition of oneself in relation to gender, even if it does not correspond to sex and regardless of whether the transition has been completed.”

Still, the legislation had also elicited outspoken displays of support, including a national demonstration that took place in June. While, on the opposite side, that of the right and the extreme right, the argument used was the usual one: that the legislation endangered the freedom of expression and the traditional values of Italian culture. Hence also the reaction of Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the Brothers of Italy, after hearing the news: “We have won.”

Leave a Comment