Italian region Puglia’s governor Nichi Vendola has said that ‘life in Rome is too dangerous for gays and lesbians.’
Interviewed by Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, Vendola, who has been openly gay since he was 18, said: ‘I fear going out alone at night in Rome.’
But Rome’s Mayor Gianni Alemanno attacked the SEL – Sinistra Ecologia LibertÃ Party – leader’s words.
Alemanno said: ‘SEL’s leader Vendola is offending Rome. My city has the same problems of all European big cities. Vendola should think about his own city, Bari, which is not better than Rome.’
Vendola added: ‘The Italian environment is very dangerous. In Italy I am considered more a gay man than a politician. That’s what people see looking at me.
‘While in the United Kingdom the government is trying to give new rights to LGBT people, Italy looks like an 18th century country.
‘In Italy, the Catholic Church does not allow an anti-discrimination law. This is the truth, here in Italy the homophobic people rule.’
Online commentators attacked Vendola’s words. Several Roman people replied and commented on the news on the Il Fatto Quotidiano website.
One reader wrote: ‘Rome is much much better than what Vendola is depicting. He can not offend an entire city.’
Another reader commented: ‘Vendola is a famous politician and is escorted every day. Women, instead, fear walking alone in dark streets at night, this is what our politicians should consider.’