Rome's "Gay" Christmas Light Displays Sparks Backlash
A mile-long stretch of rainbow-streaked Christmas lighting in Rome's shopping district raises an holiday-appropriate awareness for the Italian LGBT community. But not everyone in the Eternal City is feeling the Christmas spirit when they walk down the Via del Corso.
Following the recent suicide of a local gay teen, a Roman Council chose the rainbow-flag themed lights to punctuate the holiday celebration in the shopping district. "That is how we came up with the rainbow flag idea," said councilor Imma Battaglia, who also heads up a gay rights campaign group.
Fratelli d'Italia (Italian Brothers), a conservative anti-gay group, has demanded the lights be taken down and replaced with Italy's national colors.
Instead of caving, however, the city has decided to also dedicate the rainbow display to Nelson Mandela, in celebration of his life, which ended last week. "This way the message of love, tolerance, unity and sharing will become stronger," said Laura Rossi, a company boss involved with the display.
(Via NY Daily News)