Organizers of this year’s Rome Pride say 500,000 people participated in today’s event in the city.
The celebrations commenced at 4pm at the Piazza della Repubblica and passed such classic landmarks at the Colosseum.
The year’s Rome Pride theme was ‘Rainbow Brigade, Liberation continues’, signifying the country still has some way to go in embracing equality. Although civil unions are available to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, marriage is not allowed for gay people. They can also not adopt.
Organizers say they wanted to highlight the ongoing fight against all forms of prejudice and fascism.
Italy’s new government
Italy has faced political stalemate in recent months. Last week, it finally agreed a new Government following a March 2018 election in which no one party earned a ruling majority.
The new Government is headed by Giuseppe Conte. He has forged a coalition arrangement between the right-wing Northern League and Five Star Movement. Because of this, several Northern League politicians have landed Ministerial positions. One is the conservative Catholic Lorenzo Fontana.
He has been appointed Minister for Families. However, prompted immediate controversy following his appointment last week by saying ‘Rainbow families’ did not exist in the country.
Because of this, many gay parents have taken to social media to post pictures demonstrating ‘we exist.’ Many were also evident, along with their children, at today’s Rome Pride parade.
One of the day’s special guests was 92-year-old Tina Costa. Costa was a member of the anti-fascist resistant fighters who fought to bring down Benito Mussolini during the Second World War.
She and her partisan companions fought for women’s rights and against the deportation of gay men to internment camps on the islands of Tremiti. Costa told today’s crowds: ‘I don’t care who you love, people are all equal and should have equal rights.’