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Homophobia is still thriving in Italy, “like an epidemic from the past, with no antidote,” reports L’Espresso.

The country has no official register for incidents of discrimination and violence, but the Italian non-governmental organisation Gaycenter reports receiving more than 20,000 requests for help last year, and believes this is just the tip of the iceberg.

A draft law against homophobia is finally underway, but following strong pressure from the Church it has been stripped of any real significance, with the voicing of anti-gay views allowed if they are expressed as “opinions” and the dropping of clauses penalising aggravating circumstance for hate crimes, continues the weekly.