Will LGBTQ Italians get protection from the increasing rate of hate crimes?
According to the Thomas Reuter Foundation, Italy currently does not have a law that recognizes LGBTQ hate crimes. Despite that, the country is becoming one of the worst offenders of documented crimes against LGBTQ people. An EU-wide survey, called the Eurobarometer, published last fall found that only 55% of Italians accept LGBTQ people. Plus, the rise of a far-right League has led to the increase of anti-gay sentiment in politics and society, which has then led to an increase in hate crimes. But change may be on the horizon… if anti-gay protesters don’t ruin it first.
A proposed anti-discrimination law has been introduced to the Italian Parliament, according to The Guardian. Politicians will soon begin debating the bill, but right-wing parties are already contesting it.
The bill’s existence has led to several protests and rallies, in both support and opposition to the proposed legislation. Supporters of the legislation say that it’s needed to extend protections from race or religion to sexual orientation. Those opposed to the bill, however, say that the update would impose on freedom of expression.
“I’m here to defend the right of a child to have a mother and a father,” said Matteo Salvini, the vocal leader of Italy’s far-right, told the Guardian at a protest this past weekend. “Tomorrow I don’t want to be tried for defending family rights.” Meloni then described the proposed law as “a crime against opinion.”
Meanwhile, Alessandro Zan, the member of Parliament who introduced the bill, told the New York Times, “[LGBTQ] people are particularly exposed to hate crimes. This is why we particularly need to protect them.”
Zan later told Reuters that the government has to intervene “if people can’t show affection and just be who they are out of fear.”