Sunday, December 5

The Italian LGTB community promises mobilizations when the Senate rejects the law against homophobia

Correspondent in Rome



With sadness, anger and disappointment the blockade in the Italian Senate of the law against homophobia and transphobia was welcomed by the LGBT world. The key to the wreck of the call ley ZAN (adopts the name of its promoter and LGBT activist, Alessandro Zan, deputy of the Democratic Party) was in which the vote was secret: Fundamentally the center right blocked her, but there were at least a score of snipers (senators who did not follow the strategy of the left, but supported the right) from the center left, with the final result of 154 votes in favor of overturning the law and 131 against. Now the law, after a battle that has lasted more than 30 years, returns to the starting point and it is considered practically impossible that a new law can be approved in this legislature, which concludes in the spring of 2023. The LGBT world has already announced that will fill the squares of Italy again with demonstrations to pressure parliament.


The objective of the law, on which the political forces did agree, is to protect homosexuals, the disabled and women from hate crimes and from the instigation to commit violence and discrimination against them. The law had already been approved with 265 votes in favor and 193 against, on November 4, in the Chamber of Deputies, but in the Senate (in the Italian parliamentary system, both houses have the same power) it was not possible to overcome the divergences between the parties on some points, mainly in two: The center right and also some sector of the center left such as Italia Viva by Matteo Renzi, demanded that the expression ‘gender identity’ should be eliminated from the law, and the part on the Day against homophobia in schools. But these two articles were considered fundamental by the drafters of the law. The intransigence of the center left to propose a new wording to these points, ended up curling the situation and wrecking the law.

The catholic world

In the strong social and political discussion, the Catholic Church and the Vatican have also intervened, which have considerable influence on political and social decisions. Italy, which does not allow homosexual marriage, approved in 2016 civil unions between people of the same sex. Last June, Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, in practice the equivalent of the Pope’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, delivered a verbal note of protest to the Italian embassy to the Holy See. The note verbale from the Vatican attacked especially article 7 of the bill, the one on the Day against homophobia, lesbophobia and transphobia. At risk would even be, in a more general sense, according to the Holy See, the “freedom of thought” of Catholics who would risk suffering judicial consequences when expressing their convictions. In short, the Catholic Church and the Vatican they called for a dialogue between the political forces that in the end it was not possible.

Mutual accusations

Among the parties of the center-left, the hunt has been unleashed on the “traitors” who voted for the law not to obtain the green light from the Senate and reciprocal accusations of arrogance have been launched among politicians. Enrico Letta, leader of the Democratic Party (PD), has underlined that it has been a question of «a vote against the future, which is a setback for Italy », directly accusing Italia Viva of this failure of the center left. Matteo Renzi, leader of Italia Viva, responds that “it is incomprehensible that the PD did not lend itself to mediation.” The senator and journalist Tomasso Cerno, from the PD, summarizes the tough political battle over the Zan law: “The end was planned. I am the only gay declared in the Senate and the PD did not want to listen to me about the need for mediation, preferring to continue with ‘all or nothing’, obtaining this result ».

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