Italy Hub




Silvio Berlusconi Comes Out In Support of Gay Rights

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Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly changing his stance on LGBT rights, according to La Repubblica, one of Italy’s left of center newspapers:

“The [fight] for civil rights for homosexuals is a fight that in a truly modern and democratic country should be everyone's responsibility,” Berlusconi said, translated here by The Local. "As a liberal, I believe that through a broad and in-depth debate we can reach a reasonable objective for justice and civilization.”

Berlusconi’s new position on Italy’s queer population comes on the heels of Francesca Pascale, his girlfriend, and Vittorio Feltri, a prominent journalist at Il Giornale, a Berlusconi family-owned newspaper, joining Arcigay, Italy’s largest LGBT rights organization.


Zac Efron ‘Wiggles’ To Jason DeRulo In Italy: VIDEO

Efron

While vacationing in Italy over the weekend, the actor took some time to show off some choreographed moves to Jason DeRulo’s song “Wiggle,” providing a glimpse of what a Zac Efron Footloose might have looked like. Efron also made sure to spend some much needed time away from his shirt while lounging on a dock.

Watch Efron wiggle, AFTER THE JUMP…

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Homophobic Mob Attacks Gay Organization In Rome, Throws Excrement At Offices

Di gay project rome

Southern Rome’s Di'Gay Project (DGP) was attacked Wednesday night when an anti-gay mob threw excrement at the organization’s offices. DGP provides community, youth and cultural services to the LGBT community.

Earlier this month, Mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino promised the approval of a Civil Union Register for same-sex couples and registration of overseas same-sex marriages.

According to Italian news website The Local, the homophobic gang, estimated to be aged between 15 and 40, also threw wooden boxes and vegetables as people inside rehearsed for a theatre performance.

Before running away, gang members were heard to shout "we give you fire, you deserve to die.”

Speaking to Corriere Della Sera, politican and honorary president of DGP Imma Battaglia said that the attack is part of a recent increase in homophobia that must be addressed. 

Battaglia has since requested a meeting with the mayor to discuss solutions to increasing homophobia in the city.

Actress and director Maria Chiara Cucinotta said:

"We have not suffered physical or structural damage, but certainly in the heart, yes."

Performers vowed to return to rehearsals last night.


Italy's Government to Begin Consideration of Gay Civil Unions in September

Italy's government will begin debate on civil unions in September, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced on Tuesday, according to The Local:

RenziRenzi was quoted in La Repubblica on Tuesday saying “gay rights will be the same as those for married heterosexual couples.”

In a move the newspaper described as the “rainbow revolution”, gay couples could be entitled to benefits including inheritance guarantees, welfare assistance and be able to claim a deceased partner’s pension.

The marriages of gay couples who wed abroad would also be officially registered.

The proposals have been inspired by both the UK and Germany’s civil partnership model, the newspaper said.

However, the Italian model will likely differ when it comes to adoption: a partner will only be able to adopt the child of the natural parent in the union should he or she die.

For a look at some of the Italian LGBT activists who have been driving this debate so far check out David Mixner's recent piece from his trip to Italy.


Frozen Food Company Produces Italy's First Gay-Inclusive Advertisement: VIDEO

FindusAd

Frozen food company Findus has produced what is being touted as the first gay-inclusive advertisement in Italy. It is a no-frills ad in which a mother and her son enjoy a "home-cooked" meal prepared by the son's boyfriend (in an odd decision, none of their faces are shown); the son comes out, telling his mother about their relationship, and she reacts beautifully.

Time reports:

The ad comes nine months after the chairman of Italian pasta maker Barilla came under fire for saying that he would never use a gay family in his ads. The company eventually announced a “more inclusive” initiative to “establish a more active, global leadership on diversity,” including hiring a “chief diversity officer.”

Gay activists in Europe praised the video for showcasing the simplicity and the daily life of a gay couple. “It’s a positive step forward when different types of families are portrayed in ads, as they resonate with parts of society that are usually marginalized,” said Juris Lavrikovs, the communications manager of ILGA, Europe’s International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association.

Way to go, Findus! 

Check out the wonderful ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Frozen Food Company Produces Italy's First Gay-Inclusive Advertisement: VIDEO" »


Mayor of Rome Promises Civil Union Registry, Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages Performed Abroad

Rome pride

At the 20th anniversary of the first Rome Gay Parade over the weekend, Mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino [pictured above with green, red, and white sash] promised the approval of a Civil Union Register for same-sex couples and registration of same-sex marriages performed abroad.

Ignazio marinoThe AFP reports that although polls find that a majority of Italians are in favour of civil unions for gay couples, Italy has lagged behind its European neighbours in part because of the influence of the powerful Catholic Church.

"We need to put pressure on parliament so Italy can overcome the shame of lagging behind the rest of the European Union," Marino said.

[photos via Facebook]


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