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Anti-Homophobia Rainbow Christmas Light Decoration in Rome Causes Conservative Uproar: VIDEO


A string of rainbow Christmas lights decorated above Rome's main shopping street has left right-wing politicians in the city fuming. AFP reports:

Imma BattagliaCity assemblywoman Imma Battaglia (pictured right) says she and mayor Ignazio Marino had decided to send a message with the multi-coloured lights, which ripple for a kilometre and a half (0.9 miles) of the bustling Via del Corso.

Battaglia, who also leads a gay rights campaign group, said the lights were intended to be against homophobia following the suicide of a gay teenager in the city.

"That is how we came up with the rainbow flag idea," said Battaglia, who is from the leftist Sel party, but added that they could also be seen as a peace symbol.

The decoration, however, did not sit well with conservative politicians in the city, with some in the right-wing Fratelli d'Italia (Italian Brothers) party labeling the idea "provocative" and "ideological." As a result of the controversy, the company behind the installation announced that the rainbow-colored theme would now be dedicated to the late Nelson Mandela so that "the message of love, tolerance, unity and sharing will become stronger."

Video of the lights, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. According to many news sources the lights were never meant to symbolize gay rights. They were meant to symbolize peace (the "rainbow flag" in Italy is a symbol of peace) and then dedicated to Mandela after his death.

    Posted by: marc | Dec 9, 2013 7:56:28 AM

  2. It's a frigging rainbow. It can be appropriated to mean all sorts of things across cultures.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 9, 2013 7:58:04 AM

  3. bravo Imma Battaglia !
    it's beautiful and SO GAY

    Posted by: Gilbert | Dec 9, 2013 8:05:35 AM

  4. Whatever it symbolizes to anyone, it's really quite beautiful. I don't recall ever seeing a light installation quite like it.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Dec 9, 2013 8:11:05 AM

  5. Conservatives really need to get over this fixation about rainbows. This is mentality is just… pointless and stupid.

    Posted by: Rad | Dec 9, 2013 8:55:40 AM

  6. The "gay" rainbow has 6 colors, 3 primary and 3 secondary colors (and yes trolls, I know the original had 8). The Italian PACE or Peace rainbow flag has 7 colors.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Dec 9, 2013 9:11:21 AM

  7. Let's see, the mayor of a city and a leading gay rights activist have a rainbow banner of lights put up in a country where there is an ongoing controversy over gay rights, including civil unions and gay marriage, and in a city that contains within it a separate nation that is rabidly homophobic. Like anyone is going to see this banner and not think of gay rights? If you think that, want to buy a bridge in Brooklyn?

    Posted by: RonCharles | Dec 9, 2013 9:43:37 AM

  8. conservatives are sick people

    Posted by: Reality | Dec 9, 2013 9:45:43 AM

  9. Quite right Q1201, wonder what these right rabid bigots do do after it rains in Rome?
    After all being gay is as natural as the rainbow, but don't expect reason from these idiots.
    Its very beautiful and is up there amongst the most impressive festive decorations I've seen. Dedicated to the memory of Nelson Mandela or the 21 year old medical student or both, well done
    Peace and goodwill is better than hate any time of year

    Posted by: renovato | Dec 9, 2013 10:41:07 AM

  10. We can't have marriage. We can't have rainbows. What next? No glitter and sequins? No unicorns? Redefine the traditional definition of bigotry? If only these folks would focus on doing good, being kind, and sharing warmth.

    Posted by: Mitch | Dec 9, 2013 12:07:03 PM

  11. Who knew? Christmas lights in a certain pattern can be "ideological"? Symbolism in the interest of human rights is not "ideology". It is compassion.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Dec 9, 2013 2:13:14 PM

  12. What to say to these conservatives in Italian:
    "Cornuto" (a hand gesture to go with it consists of an outstretched little and index finger).

    If the bigot is religious, try "Cazzo de la Madonna" (and needless to say, I will not translate these as the translations might offend someone).

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 9, 2013 11:07:56 PM

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