The head of Italy’s anti-discrimination office has resigned after accusations that he used government money to fund gay sex clubs.
A popular television program reported that money from the National Office against Racial Discrimination (UNAR) had been used to National Association Against Sexual Discrimination (ANDDOS), which was supposed to create support centers for the victims of homophobic violence. ANDDOS received 55,000 euro in government money (about $53,000).
ANDDOS runs hundreds of gay clubs throughout Italy, and some of these clubs have back rooms. The television report showed a reporter being offered sexual services for money in three of the clubs.
UNAR director Francesco Spano was listed as a member of one of the clubs and has stepped down. He said that his resignation is not an admission of guilt and that he doesn’t know why he was listed as a member of the club.
While rightwing organizations have called for UNAR to be immediately shut down, LGBT groups warned against knee-jerk reactions. “We hope the government intervenes, not to close UNAR, but to verify who receives the money and if necessary demand it be repaid,” GayLib national secretary Daniele Priori said.