Italy’s parliament rejected a bill that favours homophobia
The Italian Parliament killed a measure that would have extended bias crime protections to gays.
An Oct. 14 story at Catholic Culture characterized the bill as an attempt “to impose greater penalties for crimes motivated by ’homophobia.’”
The article said that Parliament members defeated the bill 285-222, after those opposed argued that the bill would violate the country’s constitution by granting additional protections to one group that were not available to all.
The article cited Rocco Buttiglione, a Catholic parliamentarian, as saying that gays in Italy are already protected from crime by existing law.
“The legal protection exists, and it is the same protection that the law accords to every other citizen,” the article quoted Buttigliione as saying.
Opponents of hate crimes legislation for GLBT citizens in America make the same argument, saying that “all [violent] crimes are hate crimes,” and claiming that laws specific to protecting gays would extend “special rights” to that group.
However, federal tracking of violent crime in the United States shows that bias attacks against gays and lesbians have increased in recent years.
Although Italian law does not criminalize consensual intimate contact between adults of the same gender, gay and lesbian families do not enjoy the protections extended to heterosexual households, according to a Wikipedia article.
The Catholic Culture article quoted Buttiglione responding to the vote that killed the hate crimes measure by hailing “the principle of the equality of all citizens–a principle enshrined in our constitution.”