Outing comes out in Italy

An Italian Blog has “outed” 10 MPs as a protest against the state’s homophobic policies and laws.
The blog’s authors said the aim was “to bring a bit of justice into a country where people have no way of defending themselves against daily insults and attacks from hypocritical politicians.”
“We decided to start with these 10 names to show clearly how hypocrisy and discrimination rule in the Italian parliament.”
The blog said the first target was parties which voted against a law condemning homophobia, which was thrown out for the second time in July.
One of those named, the powerful head of Italy’s northern Lombardy region, Roberto Formigoni, a member of Mr Berlusconi’s party, slammed “the sick fantasies of indescribable people.”
Minister Mara Carfagna, who backed the anti-homophobia law, attacked “a cynical and violent hoax.” The ex-showgirl and topless model is a member of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and has spoken out against feminism and same sex marriage. She also refused to back a pride march, declaring homophobia: “Just a thinking offence”. Incredibly, she is the Government’s Minster of Equality.
It was “gratuitous libel which certainly does not help the cause of the fight against homophobia, but on the contrary feeds intolerance and therefore violence,” she said.
The “outing” was backed by Aurelio Mancuso, head of the Equality Italia association, who said those named should not feel insulted or make an issue of it because being called gay is not an insult.
But Paolo Patane, head of Arcigay, the country’s main gay rights defence group, said the list contained no proof of the homosexuality or homophobia of those named.
Italy is the only country in western Europe to have no legislation to protect LGBT people at work, no civil partnership or same-sex marriage legislation and no pension protection for LGBT couples. Recently the Government refused to acknowledge anti LGBT crime as hate crime. Berlusconi’s right wing coalition and the influence of the catholic church are thought largely to blame.
Mr Berlusconi himself brags of his heterosexual performance and last year dismissed a sex scandal involving him, saying: “It’s better to be passionate about beautiful women than to be gay.”
Activists quickly came up with a slogan printed on placards and T-shirts reading: “It’s better to be gay than to be Berlusconi.”
In another speech in 2007, Mr Berlusconi boasted there were no gays in his party.
“Don’t be afraid – the gays are all on the other side,” he said.
If the rumours are true, this  would bring the number of LGBT ministers in parliament from 2 to 12; a 600% increase. Currently there are 924 ministers in parliament.