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.
The 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.”
Article continues belowLGBT 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.