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Dozens of Italian Lawmakers Stage Kissing Protest in Parliament for Gay Rights: VIDEO

(image twitter serena saetti)

Dozens of Five Star Movement (M5S) politicians stood up in Italian parliament yesterday and began hugging and kissing during a debate over an anti-homophobia bill, The Local reports:

The bill was passed on Thursday by the lower house and aims to see a 1993 anti-discrimination law extended to crimes motivated by homophobia or transphobia. A total of 354 politicians voted in favour of the bill and 79 against, La Repubblica reported.

The parliamentary debate was interrupted when dozens of M5S politicians stood in unison and began kissing and hugging each other. Fellow politicians from Beppe Grillo’s party held signs that called for “more rights” for gay people.

While the bill has now been passed by the lower house, Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party said it would fall in the Senate vote, La Repubblica reported.

Watch the amazing video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Volcanic Vent Opens, Spews Steam Near Rome's Airport: VIDEO


A new geyser opened over the weekend near the perimeter fence of Rome's Fiumicino airport less than 1000 yards from the end of a runway, the Telegraph reports:

Spectators gathered around the smoking crater, which measured about six feet wide and three feet deep, before firefighters and vulcanologists arrived to seal off the roundabout to prevent inhalation of the gas, suspected to be a cocktail of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and methane. Tests are now underway. While initial reports suggested the gas came from rotting organic matter trapped underground, one expert said volcanic activity was more likely.

“From Mount Etna in Sicily up to the Alban hills around Rome there is a good deal of underground volcanic activity,” Alberto Basili, a seismologist at the Italian National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology, told the Daily Telegraph.

Watch the vent hiss and spew, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Italy: 14-Year-Old Boy Commits Suicide Over Homophobic Bullying

Pink News reports that a 14-year-old boy in Rome committed suicide last Friday at 2am by throwing himself from a balcony after being subjected to frequent anti-gay bullying both online and at school. Italy

The boy had apparently self-inflicted cuts on his arms and groin before killing himself early Friday morning. He also left a digital and hand-written note apologizing to his family. One read, "I am a homosexual, no one understands my drama and I do not know how to make it acceptable to my family."

The boy's friends reportedly did not know anything was wrong with him before his death.

In November 2012, an openly gay 15-year-old Italian student who regularly wore pink clothes committed suicide by hanging after enduring daily bullying online and at school.

Although Italy does not criminalize same-sex relationships, the country has rejected attempts to legalize same-sex marriage and only has employment protections for gay people with no public accommodation or hate crimes laws covering all LGBT folks en masse.

In July of this year however, Italy's Lower House of Parliament began debating a bill that would criminalize anti-gay discrimination.

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.

Italian Press Uncover Hook-Up Website For Gay Priests

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Italian news outlets have supposedly uncovered a hook-up site for gay priests in Italy. From the Catholic website Gloria:

"The homo Sensitive priestly society - Venerabilis in English - claims to be a loose association of gay and homophile Catholic priests. The website serves as a gay dating site, so that aberrosexual priests can find contact among themselves, or homosexual laity can meet like-minded priests and vice versa. This page offers chat rooms in five languages, including in German, a Twitter service to the Catholic Church and some news from a "homo sensitive" view. The ads are unique. Anyone who registers on the Venerabilis and gives a personal ad or responds to one seeks homosexual sexual contact."

The news comes on the heels of Pope Francis' statement last week admitting the existence of a "gay lobby" within the Catholic Church. 


Italian Lawmakers Call for Marriage Equality, Anti-Homophobia Laws

A debate has begun in Italy's People of Freedom (PDL) party (the party of Silvio Berlusconi) about gay rights, and proposing laws against hate crimes and in favor of same-sex unions, Europe Online reports:

Bondi"I do not understand, I really don‘t, why (fellow) Catholics should fight battles against those who call for the recognition of same-sex couples," PDL coordinator Sandro Bondi (pictured) said at the weekend.

His remarks came amid bitter controversy in France about the legalization of gay marriage and in the wake of a report by ILGA-Europe, a pan-European association, classifying Italy and Bulgaria as bottom of the EU class on homosexual rights.

Bondi was reacting to a letter published Saturday by centre-left newspaper La Repubblica, where a gay 17-year-old said he was writing as his "last alternative to suicide" and lamenting that "not everybody has the luck to be born a heterosexual."

Laura Boldrini, speaker of the lower house of parliament, also replied to the teen, offering to meet with him and saying that she "really hoped" that lawmakers would soon adopt a law making homophobia a criminal offence.

Other members of the PDL - such as former ministers Giancarlo Galan and Stefania Prestigiacomo - backed Bondi‘s position. "It is time for homosexuals to also be given the (full) rights of Italian citizenship," Galan said.


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