‘Very real fears’ for LGBT community after far-right win in Italy

‘GENDER AND LGBT COLONISATION’

Marrazzo, a former leader of the Arcigay LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) association who unsuccessfully stood in the Sep 25 election, said he was most concerned about the cultural signals coming from the right.

He said it might become harder to run anti-LGBT discrimination programmes in schools and said there had been an increase in the past in homophobic attacks in Italian cities and regions with right-wing administrations.

Pro Vita & Famiglia, a conservative Catholic lobby that is highly suspicious of sex education in schools, has called on the new government to pick an education minister opposed to “any gender and LGBT ideological colonisation in schools”.

Meloni is not expected to take office before late October, so it is too early to say whether she will heed the advice. Meanwhile, her party’s culture spokesman caused a stir by saying last week that gay couples “are not legal”.

Federico Mollicone later clarified he was referring only to gay couples who adopt. He also said his party supports same-sex partnerships – despite having voted against their introduction in 2016 – and “is against all discrimination”.

Meloni’s aide also stood by a call to censor an episode of the popular children’s cartoon “Peppa Pig” which featured a polar bear with two mothers, saying gay parents cannot be presented to minors “as an absolutely natural fact”.

But surveys suggest most Italians are more relaxed.

In June, an Ipsos poll showed that 63 per cent of Italians backed marriage rights for gay people, up 15 points from 2013, and 59 per cent were in favour of gay adoptions, an increase of 17 points from nine years ago.