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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.


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]


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

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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...

Rainbow

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Vatican Shuts Down Photo Exhibit Featuring Gay Couples Kissing In Churches

Kissing

The Vatican this week blocked an exhibition of photos by artist Gonzalo Orquin that featured gay couples kissing in Churches in Rome. The exhibition entitled, "Trialogo" was scheduled to open at the Galleria L'Opera. However, once the Vatican sent a letter threatening legal action, declaring, "the church is against the exhibition," and invoking the Italian constitution to make its case, Orquin consulted with his lawyers and decided to pull the exhibit for "security reasons." The Huffington Post reports:

BlackVicariate spokesman Claudio Tanturri told The Local that the photos violate the Italian constitution. “Italian constitutional law safeguards an individual’s religious feeling and the function of places of worship," he said. “Therefore photos that are not suitable and do not conform to the spirituality of the place offend and infringe upon the advancement of man in the particular place for the expression of faith" [...]

Orquin posted a Facebook photo with the covered up images and a caption protesting the censorship.

Orquin, who is Spanish and Catholic, said that he found Italy to be "a very homophobic country" in the eight years that he has lived in Rome. "There aren't other countries in Europe or West that are backward like this," he said.

Flavio Romani, the president of gay rights group Arcigay had stronger words, calling the Vatican's reaction "grotesque."

“In the images in which the church have seen provocation, I see an exchange of love, a type of public worship that creates harmony not contrast," he said. "The indignation of the Catholic Church, therefore, is extremely grotesque."

The Vatican's decision to publicly lambaste the exhibit comes on the heels of Pope Francis's most extensive remarks to date on homosexuality, in which he proclaimed that the Church needed to get away from focusing solely on issues like abortion, contraception and gay marriage. Specifically referring to gay people, the Pope commented that "it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person." 

You can see the rest of the photos that would have been part of Orquin's exhibit HERE.

(Photos via Facebook)


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

Rome_geyser

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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The Vatican Buys Europe's Biggest Gay Sauna: VIDEO

Sauna
(ad for Europa Multiclub)

The Vatican has bought Europe's biggest gay sauna, The Independent reports:

A day ahead of the papal conclave, faces at the scandal-struck Vatican were even redder than usual after it emerged that the Holy See had purchased a €23 million (£21 million) share of a Rome apartment block that houses Europe’s biggest gay sauna.

The senior Vatican figure sweating the most due to the unlikely proximity of the gay Europa Multiclub is probably Cardinal Ivan Dias, the head of the Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples, who is due to participate in tomorrow’s election at the Sistine Chapel.

This 76-year-old “prince of the church” enjoys a 12-room apartment on the first-floor of the imposing palazzo, at 2 Via Carducci, just yards from the ground floor entrance to the steamy flesh pot. There are 18 other Vatican apartments in the block, many of which house priests.

Priest_bearThe newspaper adds:

The sauna’s website promotes one of its special “bear nights”, with a video in which a rotund, hairy man strips down before changing into a priest’s outfit. It says Bruno, “a hairy, overweight pastor of souls, is free to the music of his clergyman, remaining in a thong, because he wants to expose body and soul”.

There was further embarrassment for the Holy See when the press observed that thanks to generous tax breaks it received from the last Berlusconi government,  the church will have avoided hefty payments to the Italian state. The properties are recognised as part of the Holy City.

Watch the (work-unfriendly) ad for the Europa Multiclub, AFTER THE JUMP...

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