Magazine Confirms Italy Is Still The Basket Case of the West on LGBT Rights

The Italian weekly L’Espresso published an article on September 6th lambasting the nation for its persistent and continued homophobia. In an article entitled ‘L’Italia AntiGay’ the respected periodical describes homophobia in Italy as being “Like an epidemic from the past, with no antidote”.
The article claims that there were 20,000 plus requests for help from the Italian Non-Governmental Organisation GayCenter last year over discrimination and violence. The country has no register for reporting crime based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Italy has no laws to protect LGBT people at work and no civil-partnership laws. In short, it is where the rest of the states of the former western Europe were in the 1980s as regards LGBT rights. Although Italy has never outlawed homosexuality – although Mussolini regarded male homosexuality as un-Italian and exiled many gay men to a southern island – LGBT people are stigmatised and marginalised to an extent rarely seen in other EU states.
A draft law against homophobia is finally underway, but following strong pressure from the Church it has been stripped of any real significance, with the voicing of anti-gay views allowed if they are expressed as “opinions” and the dropping of clauses penalising aggravating circumstance for hate crimes, continues the weekly.
The law would penalise people for homophobic hate speech, but it is being implemented in a state that gives people no support or legal status for being lesbian, gay or bisexual. The Italian right argue that it amounts to a challenge against free speech, which is a human right.
ILGA scored 19% on the ILGA map of countries where it is good to be LGBT, falling behind Poland, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovena and Cyprus. The UK scored 77%