‘Action, not words’ demand Italian LGBT groups of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi after he promised same-sex marriage if he wins the country’s next general election.
Last Monday Berlusconi said:
‘I’m in favor of granting legal status to couples who live together, including gays, if there is a majority that makes it possible to change the civil code’.
But Italy’s gay groups are expressing concern and ‘disillusion’.
Fabrizio Marrazzo, Gay Center’s leader, said: ‘The three governments Berlusconi led between 1994 and 2011 did nothing for LGBT people. Concrete proposals are certainly necessary.’
Leading LGBT association Arcigay’s president Flavio Romani said: ‘I have legitimate suspicions about such a sudden change of course. Berlusconi should put his pledge in black and white.’
Enrico Oliari, president of a right-wing LGBT association, welcomed Berlusconi’s remarks: ‘Berlusconi’s opening-up over the recognition of gay couples is a piece of news you cannot fail to take account of.’
Berlusconi, who is facing a trial in Milan for allegedly having had sex with an underage prostitute, said in 2010: ‘It’s better to like pretty women than being gay.’