All are not equal before the law

The Italian Chamber of Deputies decided it didn’t want to dignify homosexuality by approving a law that would make hate crimes against gays punishable. On. Fabrizio Cicchitto of the PDL explains:

We’re not homophobic. Our position is basically this: we consider gays citizens equal to everyone else. For precisely this reason we contest every legal attempt at differential treatment which would thereby admit and accentuate diversity, which is in substance unconstitutional.

Which isn’t true at all. They don’t consider gay citizens “equal to everyone else.” It’s for this reason that gay marriage is still illegal here (among other forms of discrimination). They’re taking cues from the Vatican, of course, which has perfected the art of discriminating while playing the victim. They cry out about the tyranny of minorities, about how if you give them an inch they take a mile, that the majority (read, “Catholic heterosexual majority”) are somehow in danger of a rabble that wants wants wants…equality.

It’s always the same story: Italian politicians will not risk going against “Catholic values” for fear the Vatican will…what, exactly? What are they afraid of? That they’ll ask a nuncio to come home from his plush quarters down the street? That they’ll get “serious” – always a sign that someone has managed to piss off the Privileged Few? That the Catholic masses will be mobilized to take action against them? And when has that ever happened?

The Italian Constitution has this to say:

(“All citizens have equal rights and are equal before the law, without distinction by sex, race, language, religion, political opinion, or personal or social condition.”)

All of which sounds great, but isn’t true, either. (Notice, for instance, it doesn’t mention “sexual orientation.” Maybe that’s grouped under “personal/social condition.”) That’s why in every courtroom in Italy there is a huge wooden crucifix above the words, “The law is equal for everyone.”

But we know this is a lie, too. Just ask Judge Luigi Tosti.


Or so you would think. This ad for the Renault Twingo has apparently been banned by RAI and Mediaset because it features lesbians. That’s code for “porn”, as we know. You can see it on La7, the only television station worth watching in Italy anyway. I think it’s a sexy, powerful ad, and lesbians are even less visible than gay men, Jews, Protestants and atheists in this country. They need all the publicity they can get!

Nichi Vendola on being gay

It almost slipped by me as I was writing my last post, but a reader caught it in the comments. Quoting from the Haaretz profile, which still appears to be the most substantial yet in English on the rising star of the Italian left, I wrote:

Vendola does not see any contradiction between being a devout Catholic and his declared sexual identity. “I have always been Catholic and gay, I have never concealed this and I refuse to adopt feelings of guilt,” he said in interviews with Italian media. “It is easier to talk about this with priests than with politicians.”

Of course the reader in question (and this is why comments matter) asked, “Hm, suppose they have more gay priests than gay politicians in Italy?” How could I have overlooked that one?

It occurs to me that Mr. Vendola was skirting the issue a bit. Instead of looking the homophobic dogma of his Church in the eye and challenging it, he clips his sails to the prevailing winds. It’s easier to talk about these things with priests than politicians; that is, with those responsible for perpetuating the idea that homosexuality is an “evil” among huge swaths of the voting public, and inculcating a mechanism whereby politicians court the vote by adopting the rhetoric of the Church, which is itself bursting with homosexuals dressed up as Clark Kent.

It’s a tricky, Orwellian shtick abounding with smoke and mirrors. I’m always a bit baffled by devout gay Catholics. What exactly do they love about their Church, which is so consistently and stridently opposed to their sexual freedom and does everything in its power to deny them the same rights afforded to heterosexuals, endlessly manupulating the political processes of Catholic-majority countries like Italy to achieve their ends?

I’d love to see an Italian politician courageous enough to stand up to the unlovable Vatican. I bet a lot of disenfranchised Italian voters would support that, too. It might finally give them the voice they’ve been denied for so long by cowardly hypocrites prepared to steamroll democracy every time the pope hiccups the word “relativism.”