D.he dispute over the law against homophobia and transphobia becomes an endurance test for the coalition under Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The lawmaker of the social democratic Partito Democratico (PD) and well-known LGBT activist Alessandro Zan introduced the bill in May 2018. In the House of Representatives, the “Legge Zan” was then adopted on November 4, 2020 with 265 against 193 votes.
Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta based in Rome.
The members of the then ruling coalition of the left-wing populist five-star movement and PD under the then Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte voted for the law. The right-wing nationalist Lega of the former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and the post-fascist Brothers of Italy party led by Giorgia Meloni rejected the law.
Jail sentences for hate speech
In mid-February, the Lega, which was still opposed in November, returned to the ruling coalition led by Mario Draghi. Lega boss Salvini is also against the adoption of the law, which provides prison sentences of up to four years for any form of hate speech against people because of their “gender, sexual orientation or sexual identification”. Meloni’s brothers in Italy, the only opposition party of any size since Draghi’s broad coalition took office, are still against the law.
The planned reading of the bill in the plenary of the Senate has now been prevented by the chairman of the judiciary committee, Lega politician Andrea Ostellari, for the time being. Ostellari did not name a date on Wednesday evening for the law to be dealt with in the responsible committee, instead he referred the text of the law to Senate President Elisabetta Casellati to review possible incompatibilities with other bills. Casellati belongs to the liberal-conservative Forza Italia party of the former Prime Minister Berlusconi. Most of the senators of Forza Italia, which is also part of the Draghi coalition, reject the law.
The temporary suspension of the legislative process has sparked a broad political and social debate in Italy. Several celebrities spoke out in favor of the Senate’s immediate adoption of the bill. The prominent singer Mahmood told the daily “La Repubblica”: “In a civilized country you might not need such a law, but here in Italy you do.”
A Lega regional president leaves
Lega boss Salvini, on the other hand, affirmed that in Italy “everyone can love whoever they want”. According to the current legal situation, any kind of discrimination and even violence is correctly punished severely, and there is no need for another anti-discrimination law. The “Legge Zan”, on the other hand, could mean that expressions of opinion such as that according to which children need a father and a mother and adoptions should only be allowed for heterosexual couples, might be punished as hate speech, said Salvini.
#Lega #blocks #law #dispute #homophobia #transphobia #divides #Draghis #coalition