‘A gay son? It would be worse than my daughter wanting to be a nun or to marry someone from Morocco.’
That's the comment from Italian MP Massimo Polledri, of Lega Nord Party, who also said that a gay son ‘would be the worst thing it could happen to me.’
Interviewed by the radio programme La Zanzara, on Radio 24 on Monday (4 June), the Italian politician, also a psychiatrist, added that ‘homosexuals are not happy. They go to psychologist and that’s the only way to feel better.’
The Lega Nord Party, which has lost a lot of mayors and local councillors in the last Italian elections, was a member of the last coalition government led by Silvio Berlusconi.
But other politicians have criticised his remarks.
Emilia Romagna regional MP and gay activist Franco Grillini commented: ‘A psychiatrist should know that the real problems for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens come from homophobia.’
And Monica Cerruti of the Sinistra, Ecologia e Libertà Party said: ‘Polledri’s words are dangerous. The new Lega Nord, after the fall of Berlusconi’s government, has not changed. It is always the same.’
Italian MP and gay activist Anna Paola Concia commented: ‘We still live in the Stone Age and Polledri’s words prove that.’
Polledri's statements have also been condemned by Arcigay, Italy's main LGBT association.