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Critics slam Italy’s proposed anti-homophobia law as ‘useless’

Saturday, September 21, 2013

ROME, Italy — An anti-homophobia bill approved by Italy’s lower Chamber of Deputies (Parliament) on Thursday has been criticized as having loopholes that will continue allow anti-gay hate speech to go unpunished.

ItalyThe draft bill proposes to criminalize acts based on homophobia or transphobia as an aggravating statutory factor, has been overwhelmingly approved by a vote of 354-79.

The bill now heads to Italy’s Senate, where it is unlikely to be voted into law, according to La Repubblica.

But a controversial amendment by legislator Gregorio Gitti of the Civic Choice party, has been adopted in the draft law, allowing, “opinions expressed within political organizations, religious or cultural” to be excluded from prosecution.

Andrea Colletti, legislator of the Five Star Movement party (M5S), warned that the draft bill effectively allows continued negative use of “homosexuality as a fetish, for propaganda and political means.”

During the vote, M5S legislators staged a kiss-in a mock gay kissing protest, holding signs reading “more rights.”

LGBT advocacy groups slammed the bill saying it was “useless” and “hypocritical,” claiming it effectively granted key organizations and groupings a green light to continue and use homophobic and transphobic speech.

A recent report by Amnesty International has signaled Italy as having gaps in its legislation that fail to protect LGBT citizens.

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15 more reader comments:

  1. We are Italians, what did you expected? ;)

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 4:25pm
  2. And I'm not talking about homophobia. It's more like a "things cannot really work in Italy" statement

    Replied on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 4:27pm
  3. Forza Italia! “Perche’ un bacio e un abbraccio non devono fare paura e NOI NON ABBIAMO PAURA!”

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 4:30pm
  4. In this day and age,something like this should not be happening.

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 4:32pm
  5. Not sure what exactly the law says, but it sounds like the amendment protects free speech. People should have the right to say whatever they want, hateful or otherwise.

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 4:44pm
  6. …. Unfortunately, it is true! I happen to agree with B.J. As long as the rights of the “HUMAN RACE” are protected; Regardless of whom that individual is…. Then the law is fair. We have to keep in mind that: Where our boundaries of law begins – someone else’s STOPS, and where theirs STOPS- Another’s individual begins… and so on!!! We have to respect others’ RIGHTS SO OURS CAN ALSO BE RESPECTED.

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 4:53pm
  7. Tragically, I do have to agree. Freedom of speech is one of the most fundamental and necessary rights we have. Even if that right is used for evil, we cannot restrict it. If we restrict homophobic speech, what's next? Seditious speech? "Oh, I don't think I like this new government leadership." "You're under arrest for not expressing your full support of the government." Sometimes, the bigger picture must be observed. If we restrict speech, even if it is hate speech, we slowly start to become North Korea. And no one wants to be North Korea.

    Replied on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 5:57pm
  8. Freedom of speech SHOULD NOT INCLUDE inctation to hate, slander and chalumnious anti-scientific lies! Racist and homophobic speech should be banned!

    Replied on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 8:30pm
  9. Actually yes it should. Everyone has a right to say their opinion even if it is ignorant. What you can't do is incite violence. That is illegal and understandably.

    Replied on Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 3:02pm
  10. itiotic injustice in italy

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 7:16pm
  11. How about Italy first recognizes my marriage with my American spouse and then think about aggravating clauses. That country has no sense of priority whatsoever.

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 8:10pm
  12. OK

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 8:26pm
  13. Italy: Face it; there are GAYS in ALL COUNTRIES throughout the WORLD. WE NEED TO BE TREATED EQUALLY; WE HAVE RIGHTS to be the same as everyone else.

    Posted on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 9:38pm
  14. Hatred should not be allowed in no manner WE should WE will be equally oneday god bless!

    Posted on Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 2:37am
  15. All we want is our “fair share!” Nothing wrong with that!!

    Posted on Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 2:41pm