Rosario Crocetta, an openly gay politician from the Italian Partito Democratico party, has become the first openly gay governor of Sicily.
He won last Sunday’s election on the Italian island with more than 30% of the votes, winning over the right-wing PDL (Popolo delle Libertà), which has governed in Sicily for last decade.
Crocetta is Italy's second openly gay governor, after Puglia’s Nichi Vendola, who now is running for the leadership of the entire left parties.
Once in power, Crocetta may not be able to do much for LGBT rights however. He won the election leading a coalition with the Union of Christian Democrats, a centrist party very close to the Catholic Church.
And during the electoral campaign, Crocetta reassured his allies, saying: ‘In case of victory, I will say goodbye to sex and sexuality, I’ll be married only to Sicily and to Sicilians’.
According to the new governor, ‘chastity is the best way of life for a politician. When you are dealing with such a responsibility, you have to be quiet and considerate’.
In 2003, when Crocetta was running for the role of mayor in Gela, Sicily, he was ‘victim’ of an outing by his right-wing competitor. But, he went on to win the election and became the first openly gay mayor in Italy.
During the Seventies, Crocetta was a member of the Italian Communist Party (PCI). He said of that time 'the Communists were homophobic' and added that his current party Partito Democratico didn't want him to represent them in 2003 because he is gay.