Sicily’s Openly Gay Governor Rosario Crocetta Tackles the Mafia

Rosario Crocetta, the gay governor of Sicily elected in October 2012, is winning support for taking on the mafia as he did as mayor of the small coastal town where he is from, and gets a nice profile in the Washington Post:

CrocettaSince winning the governor’s job nine months ago, Crocetta has taken his crusade island-wide, kicking a hornet’s nest as he strengthens anti-mafia laws and takes aim at the cronyism, waste and corruption that turned Sicily’s treasury into the gift that kept giving. But to get this far, the 62-year-old former Communist with a penchant for sea-blue spectacles first had to tackle another powerful adversary: masculine stereotypes in Italy’s macho south.

“I’m homosexual, which I call a gift from God, and no, I didn’t hide it one bit!” he said, dangling a lit Marlboro and rearing his head back in a raucous laugh. Talking about his successful campaign for governor, he said, “the fact that I’m here is almost inconceivable. Even I’m surprised.”

To put it in perspective:

“Having Crocetta in Sicily is like having an openly gay man elected governor in Alabama,” said Ivan Scalfarotto, a member of the national parliament and a Milan-based gay rights advocate. “But the most telling point is that his sexuality became a small detail for voters. This was about what he had done” against the mafia.


  1. Mike says

    Baby steps I guess. Still not proud of my country though given the way minorities are treated. The first black minister was called a monkey and some idiot threw bananas at her. What a disgrace!

  2. woody says

    Good to hear that both Sicily and Puglia have gay govenors. I knew about the high profile Nichi Vendola in Puglia who was touted as a prime minister possibility before it went to Letta, but I didn’t know about this guy.
    So, despite being the only western european country with no gay marriage or civil unions Italy seems pretty welcoming to gay leaders–even in the supposedly conservative south.

  3. Alan says

    Not just a profile in the WaPo – a front page story. But my favorite paragraph was casting paragraph: “In looks and manner, think Harvey Fierstein, if Harvey Fierstein were playing the part of an anti-mafia Sicilian governor and going for the Oscar. His sexuality rarely became a dominant issue during his governor’s campaign, but it was an undercurrent.”

  4. Sean Kirkpatrick says

    I am stationed in Sicily, and married to a Sicilian here. Let me clarify about Mr. Crocetta.

    1) He is anti-American, so be careful about heaping too much praise on him. I back this up by his weekly comments in La Sicilia. He is currently catering to the Communist elemets that are claiming America is radiating the island and seeding the atmosphere with dangerous chemicals. Additionally, his group is passing around false info, stating that we have 80, nuclear-tipped F-35’s stationed here.
    2) He only won by promising to abstain from any homosexual acts while in elected. Then he was elected and retracted by saying he was only joking.

    I really enjoy TowleRoad, and am just helping to clarify the record.

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