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Sicily Elects a Gay Governor Eager to Distance Himself from 'Stereotypical Promiscuous Homosexuals'

Sicily's new governor is gay, the WSJ reports:

CrocettaRosario Crocetta—an openly gay candidate backed by a coalition of leftist and Catholic parties—garnered 31% of the vote, beating Sebastiano Musumeci, the center-right candidate backed by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Mr. Musumeci received a quarter of the vote. "This is a Sicily that wants to change," Mr. Crocetta said in a television interview.

The biggest surprise, analysts said, was the number of Sicilians who decided to either stay away from the polls or cast their vote for the Five-Star Movement, a protest party led by euro-skeptic and former comedian Beppe Grillo. Only 47% of voters turned out this year, compared with the 67% that voted in 2008. The Five-Star Movement grabbed 15% of the vote for Sicily's regional assembly—more than any other party. Its candidate for governor, warehouse worker Giancarlo Cancelleri, received 18% of the vote.

He's not likely to help gay rights in the country though, the Guardian reports:

He is one of only two openly gay men to be elected governor in Italy, but Crocetta has never used his sexual orientation to raise awareness of gay rights, or to commit to change Italy's unique status as a western country that does not recognise any kind of same-sex union.

On the contrary, Crocetta has been quoted as saying that if he won he would refrain from sex.

In this conservative southern region of Sicily, this is likely to reinforce the idea that being gay and having sex is unacceptable, according to Paola Bonesu, a political communication consultant and co-founder of Pane & Politica. "He is ready to refrain from sexual intercourse in order to distance himself from the stereotypical promiscuous homosexual lifestyle," she said.

The Union of Christian and Centre Democrats, a centrist party close to the Catholic church, which joined the leftwing Democratic party to form the coalition Crocetta leads, is also likely to limit pro-gay political initiatives in the region. Crocetta's inability to act on social rights will be compounded by the lack of power given to governors under Italian legislation.

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Comments

  1. Rosario's ascension may help to promote the notion that gay men aren't all sex pigs. It would be a healthy development and would challenge the stereotype that we spend our Saturday nights in saunas or in parks seeking strangers.

    As far as I'm concerned, anything that breaks stereotypes is good for our community. This doesn't mean, of course, that I'll give Rosario an automatic pass. Being gay doesn't mean that you should get a pass on your personality. If he's a horrible person, I'll call him out on it.

    Posted by: jason | Oct 31, 2012 8:34:31 AM


  2. The ideological purists who post on this site are going to assassinate Rosario's character. I congratulate him on his election.

    Posted by: andrew | Oct 31, 2012 11:42:31 AM


  3. I would be more worried about the stereotype that all Italian politicians are promiscuous.

    Posted by: ItsAMe | Oct 31, 2012 12:21:13 PM


  4. .....odd. I have a Sicilian branch of my family. I, the gay dude, am not known as the promiscuous one. Which is not to say I'm not promiscuous. I'm just outdone by my straight male Sicilian relatives.

    I guess some folks are still in "that stage" of accepting themselves where they need to *couch* their homosexuality or "gayness" with some "but not like those OTHER gays" comments.

    But hey, good for him for refraining from intercourse. Because he clearly has tonnes of pull. I'm sure the local rentboys are relieved.

    Btw, mr. imma not-a promiscuous - don't use that word pejoratively. this may be the perfect time to point our that heterosexual male promiscuity is par for the course in italian male culture and it needs to be called out. just sayin'.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 31, 2012 12:42:23 PM


  5. He thinks he is undermining stereotypes, but instead he is reinforcing them. His commitment to abstain from sex while in office, and his lack of voice on gay rights is a comforting hand to homophobic cultural sentiments. The very stereotypes he (and some readers here) disdain do not come from gay men, they come from a false reality created by homophobes. And He is nurturing this reality. Does Italy have to do everything backwards, smh.

    I rather have a straight politician that is pro-gay, than a gay politician who is anti-gay. I rather bave a white politician who is pro-racial equality, and a minority who is racist. I'd rather elect a man who supports women's rights, than a chauvinistic woman.

    I DO NOT congratulate Rosario on his election, he is no ally to gays and lesbians seeking equality under the law. Him being gay himself does not give him extra points in my book.

    Posted by: anony6 | Oct 31, 2012 1:00:46 PM


  6. amen, anony!

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 31, 2012 1:11:45 PM


  7. Anon, as someone with Sicilian family and who has visited the area several times, I know for a fact that the place is extremely homophobic. I had a relative who didn't know I was gay apologize to me for the presence of a homosexual at a party, as though it would be offensive or threatening to have such a person around. And after I came out to said relative, he stopped speaking to me. This "gay" politician is a homophobe apologist and will not better the situation for Italy's LGBT population.

    Posted by: MateoM | Oct 31, 2012 1:35:29 PM


  8. Anon, as someone with Sicilian family and who has visited the area several times, I know for a fact that the place is extremely homophobic. I had a relative who didn't know I was gay apologize to me for the presence of a homosexual at a party, as though it would be offensive or threatening to have such a person around. And after I came out to said relative, he stopped speaking to me. This "gay" politician is a homophobe apologist and will not better the situation for Italy's LGBT population.

    Posted by: MateoM | Oct 31, 2012 1:35:31 PM


  9. This "gay" politician is a homophobe apologist..."

    I wonder. Or, by sacrificing his own sex life in order to allow him to be elected on a homophobic island, is he just giving gays in Sicily a first step into public influence in the only way that is feasible?

    I mean, I suppose he could have had a proud campaign during which he could have taken a few weeks to speak out against the homophobic double standards, but if he had then lost and disappeared from public view, would that really be a better model of visibility for Sicilian gays?

    I don't know his politics, but I hope that he can prove himself on the job and then run for re-election addressing the ridiculous and unique sacrifices he had to get his foot in the door.

    Posted by: GregV | Oct 31, 2012 3:55:04 PM


  10. This "gay" politician is a homophobe apologist..."

    I wonder. Or, by sacrificing his own sex life in order to allow him to be elected on a homophobic island, is he just giving gays in Sicily a first step into public influence in the only way that is feasible?

    I mean, I suppose he could have had a proud campaign during which he could have taken a few weeks to speak out against the homophobic double standards, but if he had then lost and disappeared from public view, would that really be a better model of visibility for Sicilian gays?

    I don't know his politics, but I hope that he can prove himself on the job and then run for re-election addressing the ridiculous and unique sacrifices he had to get his foot in the door.

    Posted by: GregV | Oct 31, 2012 3:55:05 PM


  11. @GregV: Very thoughtful comment. I was thinking the same thing. You said it better than I would have.

    Posted by: andrew | Oct 31, 2012 8:21:15 PM


  12. I'm glad other gay men like me who can't get laid are able to understand the governor's point.

    Posted by: andrew | Oct 31, 2012 8:28:24 PM


  13. This second post by "andrew" is of course not me but the mean spirited Little Kiwi inserting his evil into the discussion. I have seen him do this many many times. His assertion that i "can't get laid" is one of his frequent slanders against people who are trying to engage in a reasonable discussion.

    Posted by: andrew | Oct 31, 2012 8:40:00 PM


  14. GregV and anyone else who seriously thinks this guy is going to make good on his promise to be celibate is very naive. Anyone who has followed the Catholic Church's reaction to the molestation scandals or to the Vatican male prostitutes scandal, or who knows a Catholic who is a member of "Courage" knows exactly how Catholic "celibacy" works and how this is going to play out. Catholic leaders are fine with any sexual act AS LONG AS IT IS DENIED IN PUBLIC. Italy has actually legally enshrined this principle in some unique ways; in Italy, for example, incest is only illegal if it "causes a public scandal." This guy will probably be having a lot more sex in office than he could even get before he entered politics. But that's exactly the Vatican-approved way - denounce in public what you practice in private.

    Gay rights activists need to understand that what makes homophobes angry about us is not that we have gay sex, but that we talk about it, that we are not silent and hypocritical about it. Its our openness and our pride that infuriates them. Religious leaders rule through guilt, which is why they depend on people's hypocrisy. If they can no longer drive a wedge between peoples' private and public lives, they lose their power.

    Posted by: Dan B | Oct 31, 2012 11:16:20 PM


  15. @Dan B: I have rarely seen anyone make such outrageous statements about someone they know nothing about. This gay man, who is succeeding in a difficult environment, doesn't need someone like you trashing him.

    Posted by: andrew | Nov 1, 2012 12:09:20 AM


  16. @Dan B: And furthermore your comment about Italy's Incest Laws is totally wrong. Anyone inyerested in the truth can google it to find out the facts.

    Posted by: andrew | Nov 1, 2012 12:21:54 AM


  17. @Dan B: and about "the Vatican male prostitute scandal". It involved a total of one Nigerian papal usher and member of St Peter's Choir who was discharged once his involvement with male prostitutes was discovered. You are one of those people who throw all sorts of half a$$ed or bogus charges against your opponent in the hope that something will stick. My advice to you is stick it.

    Posted by: andrew | Nov 1, 2012 12:36:06 AM


  18. @Andrew:
    I took your advice and googled incest in Italy. I found the following from the Italian Penal Code:

    Capo II
    Dei delitti contro la morale familiare

    Art. 564.
    Incesto.

    Chiunque, in modo che ne derivi pubblico scandalo, commette incesto con un discendente o un ascendente, o con un affine in linea retta, ovvero con una sorella o un fratello, è punito con la reclusione da uno a cinque anni.
    La pena è della reclusione da due a otto anni nel caso di relazione incestuosa.
    Nei casi preveduti dalle disposizioni precedenti, se l'incesto è commesso da persona maggiore di età con persona minore degli anni diciotto, la pena è aumentata per la persona maggiorenne.
    La condanna pronunciata contro il genitore importa la perdita della patria potestà o della tutela legale.

    Google Translation:
    "Chapter II
    Offenses Against the Moral Family
    Article 564
    Incest

    Anyone, SO GIVING RISE TO A PUBLIC SCANDAL [emphasis mine], commits incest with a descendent or ascendent, or a cognate in a straight line, or a sister or a brother, shall be punished with imprisonment from one to five years.
    The punishment shall be two to eight years in the case of incestuous relationship.
    In the cases provided for in the foregoing provisions, if incest is committed by a person of legal age with a person under eighteen years of age the penalty is increased to the adult.
    The sentence pronounced against the parent matter the loss of parental authority or legal guardianship."

    In that lass sentence, google probably should have translated "importa" as "merit" rather than "matter," but you get the idea. Still sure I'm talking about something I know nothing about?

    Posted by: Dan B | Nov 1, 2012 2:32:45 AM


  19. I'm part Italian. Italian culture is still homophobic, especially in the south and Sicily. And he won because of the Italian electoral system; he of course actually only won 31% of the popular vote, with low voter turnout.

    I agree, he shouldn't be apologizing for anything. Promiscuity is an Italian condition, not a gay condition.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Nov 1, 2012 7:53:45 AM


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