LGBTQ+ activists in Italy are celebrating after the lower house of parliament voted to pass a bill which would make violence against LGBTQ+ people and disabled people a hate crime punishable by imprisonment. It would also criminalise misogyny and is due to be officially enforced in early 2021. According to The Guardian, the bill was drafted by Democratic party politician, Alessandro Zan, as an extension of an existing law that punishes racist violence, hatred and discrimination.
Zan said: “If we succeed in definitively approving this law, Italy will finally be a country that accepts LGBTQ+ rights, because right now we are among the last countries in Europe for the social acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. Moreover, it also criminalises hate against disabled people and misogyny, so it’s a very advanced law.”
As Zan highlighted, Italy’s progression towards equal treatment of the LGBTQ+ community has been considerably slower than other European countries. 2020 has seen multiple attacks on LGBTQ+ people in the country such as the killing of Maria Paola Gaglione and her transgender partner, Ciro Migliore. Monica Cirinnà – of the centre-left Democratic party in Italy – attributes Italy’s continuous reluctance to improve social conditions for the LGBTQ+ community in line with other western countries to a ‘deeply rooted patriarchal and catholic culture’ in the region, but insists ‘it’s time to move on’.
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