BRUSSELS — (05-19-21) — Italy is feeling the pressure by LGBT Activists to Approve Anti-Homophobia Law.  Unlike the majority of EU member states, Italy continues to not have laws on their books that punish homophobic hate crimes.

Europe is putting their money where their mouth is as they just passed a proposal brought by Democratic party MP Alessandro Zan in the lower house. Now it heads to the EU Senate for approval.

MP Alessandr Zan’s proposed legislation would punish discrimination and hate crimes against LGBT and disabled people as well as misogyny. As expected, both the church and conservative right politicians have voiced their opposition to the proposed legislation, claiming it will suppress opinion and religious beliefs.

LGBT Activists Urge Italy to back anti-Homophobic Law

The president of the Italian Bishops Conference on Wednesday urged lawmakers in Italy to change the law rather than abolish it, although the group has warned in the past that the new bill could ‘stifle’ those who hold more traditional views.

LGBT activists have been busy as in recent weeks, Italians have taken to the streets demanding the approval of the bill, while TV personalities and artists have made their voices heard in support of the Bill on their media shows. Thousands of people gathered in one of Rome’s biggest squares on Saturday in support of MP Alessandr Zan hate crimes legislation proposal.

According to A Rome-based association that deals with psychological support and helpline services for hate crime victims, says they receive 60 calls a week on average and had this to say about the proposed legislation:

“This government will be in office only for another year and a half. There is not much time left, if the proposed law will be modified, it has to be sent back to the lower house for approval,” said Claudio Mazzella, president of the Circolo Mario Mieli project.

“We know that in autumn the priority will be the budget bill. If this happens there is no time left to pass it. We, therefore, urge parliament to approve the original version straight away.”

While the bill has passed the lower house, it has yet to be scheduled for debate in the Senate, however it did receive an all-clear by the Senate’s Justice Committee.

LGBT activists fear that conservative right wing politicians will lobby to delay the bill from coming up for debate.

We will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they arise.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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