- Last week a homosexual boy was attacked while walking with his partner on the Pescara waterfront. It was recently reported that the assailant has been identified and is under investigation for personal injury. Not only: the judiciary considers the homophobic motivation as an aggravating circumstance of the sentence to be imposed ("motives of vile and futile"). Therefore, the boy under investigation will be punished for the injuries and will be given a more severe penalty for the mere fact that the injuries were directed at a person because of his sexual orientation.
- The second news comes from Liguria, where last Thursday two other homosexual boys were insulted and attacked at the station. Today, the two perpetrators of this despicable act have been identified and arrested: a Moldovan and an Albanian, both of whom have been charged with the same charges. In this case, too, we can say that we are fortunate that there is a law against homophobia in Italy.
Italy is 35th out of 49 countries analysed. And according to another report published by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Italy is among the first countries with the highest discrimination index according to respondents (19 percent). Both reports point to the absence of a law against hatred and discrimination in Italy - present, among other things, in almost all EU countries, from France to Spain to Germany - a situation that brings Italy to the bottom of the charts.
Italy needs to strengthen the culture of equality and respect for others: and this can be done by punishing hatred and violence, but also by promoting concrete actions on a cultural level and for the support of victims. And this is exactly what the Zan draft does: prevent, fight, support.
In Italy alone, in 2019, cases of homotransphobia reached 212 and two deaths and cases of intolerance doubled in Italy.
Despite the obvious need for this law, there is no shortage of criticism:
The Italian Episcopal Conference (IEC) expresses opposition to the incoming law. "There is no need for a new law", the presidency of the Conference of Bishops states clearly, because "there are already adequate safeguards with which to prevent and repress any violent or persecutory behaviour". "This awareness leads us to look with concern at the bills currently under examination" because "a possible introduction of further incriminating norms would risk opening up to liberticidal drifts". The problem arises within Catholic families but also in catechism or pastoral actions where the position of the Church is known. The risk is that of "introducing a crime of opinion", the IEC always stresses.
Laura Boldrini, in an interview with Fanpage.it, replied to these criticisms: "The Italian Bishops' Conference was wrong to express its adversity to the text, so clearly, even before reading the basic text. I don't know who gave this wrong information to the Bishops. But whoever did so did not do the community a service. The law does not affect those who spread ideas. It must be reiterated that freedom of opinion is not in question in any of the texts. The gag has nothing to do with freedom of thought, it's outside our perimeter". In fact, the text specifies that it punishes "those who instigate or commit" acts of discrimination or violence, and does not intervene in the "propaganda of ideas based on superiority or hatred". For this reason, the LGBT associations themselves consider it to be a moderate text.