ROME — Under the fleeting light of an autumn half-moon, an Italian medical student made his way to the top of a modern high-rise in east Rome, not far from an ancient arch built
Gay dating in italy the emperor Claudius. From the 11th floor of Gay dating in italy apartment block, which once housed a pasta factory, the year-old could probably just discern
Gay dating in italy darkened outline of the Colosseum about a mile away.
It may have been the last thing he saw. But there are homophobes,
Gay dating in italy those like that must Gay dating in italy their consciences. His suicide in the early hours of Oct. It was at least the third death in Rome within 12 months of a young person who had decided to end his life out of despair over being gay or over the harassment he had endured.
Two months earlier, a year-old boy leaped from his balcony; Gay dating in italy that, a year-old hanged himself. For many Italians, the deaths have served as a reminder of a sorry fact: Theirs is the only major nation in Western Europe to offer virtually no rights or protections to homosexuals.
From a legal standpoint in Italy, gays and lesbians essentially do not exist. Where other countries outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, for example, Italy has no such ban though European Union directives mitigate that lack slightly.
At least 10 Gay dating in italy in Europe, including France and Spain, allow same-sex couples to marry; Italy, with a population of 61 million, makes zero provision nationally for such relationships, not even a weaker form of civil union or domestic partnership.
Representatives in the lower house of Parliament last year approved hate-crimes legislation covering anti-gay speech and violence. But the Senate may yet block the bill.
Other countries, by contrast, have had similar laws on their books for decades. Critics cite a fractured and conservative Gay dating in italy establishment, a macho culture and the presence and outsized influence of the Vatican for Italy's laggardly approach to gay rights. They say that though the situation has improved for gays and lesbians in Italy's big cities, which boast gay social venues and community centers, life for homosexuals in small towns and rural villages often remains an oppressed and closeted one.
Progress for gays and lesbians has often come with help and pressure from abroad, not from within Italy alone. When the head of the world's largest pasta maker, Barilla, declared in September that he would never use a same-sex couple in his advertising — "If the gays don't like it, they can
Gay dating in italy eat another brand" — gay groups around the world called for a boycott of his products.
A satirical image of a Barilla pasta box stamped with the word "Bigotoni" instead of "Rigatoni" Gay dating in italy made the rounds on the Internet.
Guido Barilla has since apologized for his remarks, and the company has promised to create more inclusive ads. But the question of civil rights remains stuck in Gay dating in italy hands of Italian legislators, who are a notoriously divided and fractious lot.
Their incessant squabbling and fear of offending the Vatican, which sits imposingly in their backyard, have pushed gay rights far down the agenda. Though the Vatican does not campaign
Gay dating in italy political candidates, the influence of the Roman Catholic hierarchy at so many levels of Italian society makes lawmakers leery of incurring its wrath.
Activists find the inaction particularly frustrating because a majority of Italians express support in opinion polls for civil unions for same-sex couples. They seem to the [mouthpiece] of the Catholic Church.
Matteo Renzi, the fast-rising young secretary general of the left-leaning Democratic Party, promised recently that civil unions would be included in his party's next electoral platform. But Maurizio Sacconi, a senator with one of Italy's center-right parties, warned that pushing for some kind of recognition of same-sex relationships was currently too controversial and would risk dividing Parliament further at a politically delicate time.
Sacconi said he did not support either "quasi-marriage" or even "second-class marriages" for gays and lesbians. That doesn't mean there are no supporters of gay rights in positions of power. In September, a group of legislators with the populist
Gay dating in italy Star movement, the largest party in Parliament but not a member of ruling coalition, staged a same-sex hug-and-kiss-in at
Gay dating in italy chamber during debate over the hate-crimes bill.
But the constantly shifting kaleidoscope of government plus the demands of other issues such as Italy's foundering economy have hindered the fight for gay
Gay dating in italy. So has the blatant prejudice of some lawmakers, like the one from the right-wing Northern
Gay dating in italy who mockingly held up a piece of Gay dating in italy when Gay dating in italy gay representative Alessandro Zan stood to speak.
In Italian, the word for fennel is used as a derogatory term for gay men. He hoping to introduce a proposal for same-sex marriage in Parliament; its prospects are vanishingly small. Zan and others attribute the official indifference or contempt for gay rights partly to the influence of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, 77, who tried to make a political virtue of hosting "bunga bunga" parties and sleeping with women a third his age or younger — he has been convicted of paying for sex with a year-old girl.
Berlusconi once proclaimed that it was "better to like beautiful girls than to be gay. Critics say Berlusconi has coarsened civic life and fueled a culture of reflexive machismo. But building a grass-roots movement and enlisting high-profile supporters has been difficult. A few well-known figures in Italian society have come out of the closet, including singer Tiziano Ferro Gay dating in italy fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, but few lend their names to the cause.
Gay role models are difficult to identify, though sympathetic gay characters, not just stereotypical ones, have gradually begun appearing in films and on television.
There are now two openly gay regional governors, both elected, surprisingly, in the supposedly more traditional south. One of them, Nichi Vendola of Apulia, told an Italian newspaper last year that he was afraid Gay dating in italy go out alone for a walk at night in Rome because of potential gay-bashing. The death of D.
But the government did not respond with any new promises. The power-sharing coalition is hanging on by a thread, making it unlikely that lawmakers will go any further than the hate-crimes legislation under consideration. Signore, the Milan writer, said the political situation was complicated, but that "is not an alibi for not doing anything.
I saw gay people having babies. I saw families," he said. If that is really possible … Gay dating in italy want to have it in my country too. I said to myself, 'I can have that. Rainbow lights line one of Rome's main shopping streets last
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