The Italian equality minister Elsa Fornero has attacked gay marriage, writing a letter to the Catholic newspaper Avvenire.
She wrote: ‘Same-sex marriage could lead to social crisis, which could worsen the debt and economic crisis.
‘We must defend individual people’s rights, but we can not make gay marriage equal to the traditional one.’
Fornero is minister for work and social policies, but she is in charge of the equality department too.
She defended gay marriage on the International Day of Family last week (15 May). Then, the Catholic newspaper attacked her and she went into reverse.
LGBT Italian associations have now responded. Arcigay president Paolo PatanÃ¨ said: ‘A state minister should not reassure bishops and archbishops. She should reassure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.
‘A state minister should make the government respect the European Union’s pronouncements and laws, the Italian high court’s sentences and Italian public opinion, as the latest survey by the Italian institute of statistics showed.’
That study, released last week, indicated growing support for same-sex marriage equality in Italy.
The Gay Center’s spokesman Fabrizio Marrazzo added: ‘Now Fornero must meet LGBT associations, in order to discuss gays’ and same-sex couples’ rights. I hope Fornero is not looking for the Catholic Church’s blessing.’