Cover

Cooperation between opposition parties and a secular faction within Silvio Berlusconi’s ruling People of Freedom party (PDL) made it seem as if Italy was about to adopt a law criminalising homophobia. Until the Catholics stepped in. The text, incorporating attacks on gays to existing laws on racially motivated violence was rejected on October 13. Roman daily La Repubblica explains that it was deemed unconstitutional because it amounted to positive discrimination. The opposition Democratic party (PD) has threatened to expel Catholic MP Paola Binetti, who voted alongside the majority against the law. In an interview with La Stampa, Binetti defended herself and asked if such a law was really needed.

According to La Repubblica, the answer is yes. Homophobic attacks in Italy are on the rise: 54 reported since January. The rejection of the homophobia law is therefore "good news for those who, in an ever more ferocious country, roam the night like hunting dogs, searching for a prey to insult, hit, trample upon", comments veteran feminist columnist Miriam Mafai.