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Italian LGBT people on gay hate ban bill: ‘Nothing is going to change’

Italian LGBT people on gay hate ban bill: ‘Nothing is going to change’

Italian LGBT activists have slammed the new bill against homophobia, due to be voted on by parliament this Friday (26 July) or next week.

The bill has been approved, in its first draft, by the justice commission of the lower chamber of parliament.

Ivan Scalfarotto, an openly gay member of parliament, was the author of the bill and had cross-party support.

While the purpose of the bill is criminalize gay hate crime, most of the Italian gay rights groups say it is ‘useless’ and ‘dangerous’.

Roman LGBT association Circolo Mario Mieli’s president Andrea Maccarrone told Gay Star News: ‘This bill is a compromise between the left and the right.

‘There’s no specific punishment for gay hate, but the crimes will be punished according to the existing rules.

‘Then, the bill uses the words “homophobia” and “transphobia”, which are not used all over the world. It should include, instead, the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity", as it happens in the most civilized countries.

He added: ‘We cannot forget that, even though the law is going to be approved in the lower chamber, it has to be approved by the Senate as well, and there we’ll find opposition from the right-wing parties.

‘Now the right-wing parties are trying to stop the law, saying that it would delete the freedom of speech and of opinion.

‘But they don’t understand that the freedom of speech can not be more important than the personal and civil rights.’

The Circolo Mario Mieli is going to stage a protest this Friday (26 July) from 6pm to 10pm, in front of Montecitorio, the lower chamber’s headquarters.

According to the Italian LGBT activists, the coalition government between left-wing Partito Democratico (PD) and right-wing Berlusconi’s party, PDL, is looking for a ‘compromise’ which will be ‘dangerous’ for the LGBT community.

This is what former member of parliament and former LGBT association Arcigay’s president Franco Grillini thinks as well.

Grillini told Gay Star News: ‘This is a very bad compromise. We missed the opportunity to have a good law. Nothing is going to change with this bill.

‘The only good thing is that, for the first time, the Italian law will recognize the existence of the LGBT community.

‘This is why the Vatican, the Catholics of the PD party and the homophobes of the right-wing party PDL do not want this law.

He added: ‘They don’t want to recognize the existence of the LGBT community, because they fear that some more laws will come, maybe introducing civil partnership or some other basic rights.

‘I think also that this law is going to be postponed. Next week is the last one before the summer holidays and, if the law does not pass through the lower chamber of parliament, it will be voted in September.

‘I think that this law is “acqua fresca”, as we say in Italian, that is “fresh water”. It means it is not a real law protecting LGBT people, but it is just appeasing them.’