Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts

April 21, 2020

An Italian Nurse At Work, A Mom, and A Hero (Which She Does Not Recognizes)

 Nurse Pasqualina Conte takes a break during her shift in the emergency COVID-19 ward at the San Carlo Hospital in Milan, Italy at 3.55pm on Thursday, April 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

— Every evening, when Pasqualina Conte returns home from a draining day as a nurse in a Milan emergency room for coronavirus patients, she longs to hold her 9-year-old son, Andrea. But for 50 days and counting, the two have not hugged.

At sunrise, Conte has the breakfast table set. Barely an hour later, she will be slipping on her protective gear at San Carlo Hospital, one of the medical facilities at the epicenter of Italy’s COVID-19 outbreak in Lombardy. Schools are closed, so she drops Andrea off on her way to work at a friend’s. 

Andrea’s father left them when he was 3 months old, she says. At the outbreak intensified, Conte — in a state of panic — wanted to send Andrea to his grandparents in Italy’s south. But by the time the thought occurred to her, lockdown rules forbade such travel.

Some 30 nurses in Italy who contracted COVID-19 have died, according to an Italian nursing association. Conte wears a surgical mask at home, taking it off practically just to eat and sleep.

Her day is packed: Patients to examine. Swab tests to administer. A video call from an isolated patient’s daughter. Some eight hours later, Conte slumps on a bench, then wipes away tears.

Later, she will sit at the edge of her bed at home and explain what made her cry to an Associated Press photographer who documented her day. Conte recalls how only she was able to adjust one patient’s pillows just right to make it easier for her lungs to do their work. Eventually, the woman needed to be connected to a respirator. Conte says the woman told her she didn’t fear being sedated because, she said, “When I wake up, I’ll find you.” But recalling a doctor’s grim assessment of her patient’s chances, Conte chokes back tears: “She won’t wake up.”

April 16, 2020

Inside The Epicenter in Italy, This Country Will Never Be The Same


CURNO, Italy — When the call came at 11 p.m. on a Wednesday, Iris Limonta was shocked: Without any warning, she was told her 89-year-old mother had died.

“They told me, ‘We are sorry to give you bad news, but your mother is no longer with us,’” she said. “I asked them why they didn’t tell us before, so we could’ve spent the last few minutes with her.”

Teresa Maria Ambrosini had been living in the Casa Serena nursing home for nearly a year and a half and was in good spirits the last time Limonta spoke to her. But here, in the northern region of Lombardy, the epicenter of Italy’s COVID-19 outbreak, death comes quickly and without warning for family members. 

That’s because the staff at Casa Serena were prohibited from allowing Limonta or any other family members into their premises. Since the outbreak began in late February, 65 out of their 200 mostly elderly residents have passed away — a third of their population gone in a matter of weeks.

Only a handful of these were confirmed cases of COVID-19. Most, like Ambrosini, who only displayed mild symptoms, were never tested before they died.

As of Tuesday, Italy’s official death toll stood at 21,067, the highest in Europe and topped only by the U.S. globally. But unofficial figures could be much higher. Interviews with medical professionals, funeral providers, and family members across Lombardy province suggest that vast numbers are dying at home or in nursing homes. This means they aren’t being counted in Italy’s official coronavirus death toll.

One recent study by the L’Eco di Bergamo newspaper suggests that in Italy’s worst-hit province of Bergamo, the real death toll could be more than double the official tally.

This is largely due to the fact that only those who are taken to the hospital for critical care are tested for COVID-19, while thousands of others who stay at home or in nursing homes for fear of overwhelming hospitals are never tested for the disease — even after death.

“Essentially, what we do is only test patients who come to hospital,” said Dr. Lorenzo Graziolo, a resuscitating anesthesiologist at Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in the town of Bergamo. “If you're at home, nobody comes to you to test you, so it might be that the actual number is very big.” 

The ambiguity around her mother’s death is hard for Limonta to handle. What’s worse, the nationwide lockdown means that she and her family can’t give the family’s matriarch the farewell they wanted. Funerals, like any form of gathering, are currently banned in Italy. Instead, just a small handful of family attended a short prayer service at the cemetery. They watched as pallbearers in face masks and a cemetery worker in a full hazmat suit closed Teresa’s vault.

“It's not like a regular funeral, where you can be with the body for two or three days,” she said. “It doesn't seem real, honestly. It doesn't seem real.”

March 10, 2020

Just Now}} Inmates in Italy Take Over Prisons Setting Fires and Braking The Infirmaries For Drugs Because The Scare Of Corona

{{VICE News }} 
Italy’s coronavirus lockdown has triggered violent protests in prisons across the country, as inmates fear a devastating outbreak behind bars.
Eleven people are dead after protests erupted in 27 prisons Monday. Inmates took staff hostage, launched mass breakouts, lit fires, and scaled the roofs of prisons. Most of the deaths appear to have been overdoses of methadone looted from prison clinics, but at least one was from smoke inhalation, according to Francesco Basentini, the director of the Italian prison system. The riots began Saturday in the city of Salerno, when news leaked that the government was imposing an unprecedented lockdown of the country’s north, impacting about 16 million people, or a quarter of the Italian population. With the number of confirmed cases continuing to soar, the emergency quarantine was extended to the entire country Monday night.
The lockdown led prison authorities to cancel family visits and day releases, which sparked an angry response from prisoners. Inmates also called for an amnesty to allow them to serve their sentence from home during the coronavirus crisis, and urgent action to reduce overcrowding, amid fears that the virus could sweep through the jails. Italy’s jail system is designed to hold about 51,000 inmates but houses about 10,000 more than that, resulting in chronic overcrowding.
Further protests were reported Tuesday, including in the southern city of Campobasso, where inmates set fire to mattresses to demand increased communication with their families during the crisis, and at Palermo's Pagliarelli jail, where inmates overran sections of the jail and climbed on the roof.
In Modena, in the north, inmates took two guards hostage, stole their keys, and rampaged through the prison. They also looted methadone syrup from the infirmary. Eight inmates from the prison are reported to have died, and six are in serious condition. At least three guards and a number of health workers were also injured in the violence. Three other inmates were reported to have died of overdoses at a prison in Rieti province, after inmates briefly took control of the facility.
In the southern city of Foggia, inmates occupied the entire compound Monday before launching a mass jailbreak, the Justice Ministry said. After tearing down a gate, about 50 inmates fled the complex. About 30 were rounded up nearby and returned to the jail, but about 20 others stole staff cars to flee.
In Melfi prison, which has about 200 inmates, prisoners took four guards and five health workers hostage for about 10 hours, before releasing them and returning to their cells late Monday. Four prison officers were also taken hostage in Bologna, where 350 inmates occupied two sections of the jail.
In Milan’s San Vittore prison, prisoners scaled the roof after seizing keys to the complex, holding a banner reading “indulto” — Italian for “pardon.” Footage from the scene showed fires burning inside the building. Outside, police clashed with inmates’ relatives, who had gathered to protest the situation.
And in the Rebibbia and Regina Coeli prisons in Rome, inmates lit fires and raided a pharmacy. Almost all of the 27 affected jails have sustained serious damage, according to the Justice Ministry.
“The situation is catastrophic,” Aldo Di Giacomo, spokesman for the prison officer union SPP, told Italian news agency Adnkronos. He said the guards had warned their bosses that the situation was likely to explode due to tensions over the coronavirus. He said the army needed to be called in to guard the prisons, which he believed should be completely sealed off for the rest of the lockdown, with inmates confined to their cells.
Prisoners’ rights advocates have called for a more sympathetic response for inmates during the outbreak, saying they are terrified and confused by the virus, and that inadequate testing has been conducted in jails. Inmate advocacy group Antigone has called for the government to allow more prisoners to serve their sentences on house arrest for the duration of the crisis.
“If people outside are scared, imagine what it’s like inside,” spokeswoman Susanna Marietti told the DPA news agency.
But Italy’s hardline opposition leader Matteo Salvini said there should be no concessions made to the rioting inmates. “To handle this serious emergency of the detention centers, you need the iron fist of an Extraordinary Commissioner who brings back order and respect for the law,” he tweeted.
Cover: Inmates stage a protest against new rules to cope with coronavirus emergency, including the suspension of relatives' visits, on the roof of the San Vittore prison in Milan, Italy, Monday, March 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni

May 4, 2018

Italy Has Taken A Great Step Forward for LGBT Parental Rights

 (AF*File pic) A Gay Couple in Dublin

Although Italy may be the international capital for art, it isn’t anywhere close to being the international capital for ART law. That is, assisted reproductive technology (ART). Use of assisted reproductive technology like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy is highly regulated, and it is reserved only for those in “stable heterosexual relationships.” I’m not sure many of […]

Although Italy may be the international capital for art, it isn’t anywhere close to being the international capital for ART law. That is, assisted reproductive technology (ART). Use of assisted reproductive technology like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy is highly regulated, and it is reserved only for those in “stable heterosexual relationships.” I’m not sure many of us, regardless of sexual orientation, can confidently claim that status.

In any event, despite the typical Italian skepticism toward ART, last week there was news that a same-sex female couple was permitted to register their donor-conceived son to both women as parents. This was an exciting first!

The backstory, like many stories in this area, involves a lot of hard work and legal hurdles. In this case, Chiara Foglietta and Micaela Ghisleni wanted to start a family together. As Italian citizens, they are unable to legally marry in their home country. Since 2016, however, Italy has at least allowed couples like Figlietta and Ghisleni to register as civil partners. Nevertheless, Italian law still prohibits them from utilizing assisted reproductive technology procedures, such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or IVF with the use of donor sperm. Of course, as a same-sex couple, they had plenty of eggs and even an extra uterus between them. But they lacked for that one essential element.

Undeterred, the couple traveled to Denmark, where sperm donation is permitted. There, the couple was able to successfully get pregnant. On April 13, 2018, Foglietta and Ghislain's baby boy, Niccolo Pietro was born.

Foglietta—who also happens to be an elected public official in Turin—was initially advised that she ought to say that her child was conceived through sex with a man, in order for Italy to recognize her as the mother of the child. And although checking the box is the white lie that many Italian couples take when using assisted reproductive technology (either gay, heterosexual but unstably coupled, or using donor gametes), Foglietta refused. She said “I need to make this stand not for me, but for Niccolò, for all Rainbow children, for families who do not have the same strength to face these battles, for the children of single women and those with partners who have chosen medically assisted procreation with external donors and want to tell the truth,” she said.

Fortunately, Turin’s mayor, Chiara Appendino, joined the new parents in their political stand, and personally signed the birth certificates. In fact, not only did the mayor sign the birth certificate of baby Niccolo, recognizing both Foglietta and Ghisleni as his parents, she also signed three other birth certificates — one for a similarly situated same-sex female couple with a son, and two others for twin boys with two fathers. On Twitter, Appendino wrote: “Today is one of the days when every drop of energy put into politics feels worth it.” 

Italian attorney Alexander Schuster explained, “We made arguments that eventually persuaded a mayor (who in Italy is equivalent to a US registrar for establishing parentage on a birth certificate). However, we are truly diving into unchartered waters. I am confident we are entitled to judicial backing: if a cohabiting man consents to insemination, he is a legal parent. This ought to also be true if the partner is a woman. Denying the same protection to the child is outright discrimination.”

Birth certificate law in the US is also complicated. As everyone knows, the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell means that same same-sex marriage is legal in every US state and territory. Further, last year, the Court clarified in its decision in Pavan that same-sex couples are also entitled to the “constellation of benefits” that comes with marriage. Such as the right to nag your partner to take out the trash. Or, more importantly, for the non-biologically related parent to be recognized as a legal parent when the couple uses the help of assisted reproductive technology.

Of course, there remain some hiccups still. Just last month, the Mississippi Supreme Court had to overturn an intermediate appellate court ruling that an anonymous sperm donor had greater parental rights to a child than the non-biological lesbian mom that raised him. Not great. Similarly, even though a same-sex spouse can automatically go on the birth certificate of a baby in most jurisdictions, that birth certificate (and non-bio mom’s parental rights) are not always immediately recognized by other jurisdictions.

[[Above The Law]]

August 8, 2017

Gay Couple Told Not to Hug at Beach Resort

 "I love my gay uncles"


Accusations of homophobia have resurfaced in southern Italy after a teenage couple was told they could not hug in public at a beach resort in Caserta last Friday.
A 17-year-old and an 18-year-old man were "intimidated" by the life guard at the Lido Arcobaleno beach resort in Caserta, in the Campania region, while they hugged in the pool. 

"We were in the pool like everyone else," one of the young men, who was not named in the story, told Repubblica. "While we were in the water, like everyone else present, we also embraced, a spontaneous embrace, but we are two men and it was not appreciated."

The 17-year-old Caserta resident says the lifeguard then approached and asked them to refrain from hugging as "there are children present in the facility." The lifeguard asked the young men to remain more "composed." 

The couple told Il Fatto Quotidiano that the lifeguard later approached them as they were leaving to say that "he would have asked the same restraint of heterosexual couples," although the two young men in question point out that there were dozens of mixed couples who were not asked to refrain from hugging. 

Bernardo Diana, president of the Caserta regional branch of Rain Arcigay, an LGBT activist group, said that despite the law ensuring equal rights for gay couples, such discrimination continues.

Diana called on the government to outlaw sexual discrimination with new legislation. The activist recalled the recent case of a gay couple in nearby Calabria who were refused a room because the host "does not rent to animals or gays."

The Local
also METRO

July 26, 2017

NO Dogs 🐕 No Gays🚫 Guest House in Italy

 Nazi Round Ups separating Jews from others: Because not all people are human?
                                         NO Dogs 🐕 No Gays🚫
The owner of a guesthouse has sparked outrage in Italy after refusing to host a gay couple saying "we don't accept gays and animals".
A gay couple from Naples said they were shocked to be told that they were not welcome at Ciufo guest house near Vibo Valentia, in the southern region of Calabria, because the owners "believe in traditional families".
"It was like getting a silo of ice cold water," Gennaro Casalino told Arcigay, Italy's largest gay organisation.  
"In my mind I could see the infamous images of Nazi signs outside of shops saying 'forbidden entry to dogs and Jews'."But It has been 70 years since then and this cannot be ignored."
Filippo Mondella, the owner of the guest house, told Radio Capital that he wrote the message whilst driving and he did not intend to offend anyone when he told the couple: "This is important and I don't want to appear like a troglodyte, but we don't accept gays and dogs."
Mr Mondella explained that he did not mean to put gay people and dogs in the same category and it was a punctuation mistake.
He also defended his position: "[The guest house] is not a public structure, it's a private house. We are Catholic, devout Christians [...] I have nothing against it, for me they are normal people, but objectively we prefer to keep our faith."
The episode, which the Naples section of Arcigay called "a serious case of discrimination and homophobia", was also con condemned by local authorities.
"We completely distance ourselves from this," Giulia Russo, the mayor of Ricadi, said.
"In Ricadi we are civil and evolved people and such discrimination is not acceptable in 2017."

March 1, 2017

In Landmark Decision The Italian Court Recognizes Gay Parents

An Italian court has ruled for the first time that two gay partners should be legally recognised as the fathers of two surrogate children. In a landmark ruling, the Court of Appeal in the northern city of Trento decided that both men can be officially named as the father - not just the parent who is biologically related.

The children, now aged seven, were born to a surrogate mother in Canada through artificial insemination and neither they nor their fathers have been identified.

In their decision, the judges said in Italy parental relationships should not be determined only by the biological link.
"On the contrary, one must consider the importance of parental responsibility, which is manifested in the conscious decision to raise and care for the child,” they said.

Details of the decision were published on Tuesday on Article 29, a website that refers to an article regarding family in the Italian Constitution.

It said the decision made on February 23 had "great significance", as it is the first time an Italian court has ruled that a child has two fathers, while also recognising the need to safeguard the needs of the child.

“This is a recognition of full parenthood, in other words, not adoption,” said the couple’s lawyer, Alexander Schuster. “It has recognised for the first time a foreign provision that gives the second father the status of a parent.”

The ruling was immediately hailed as an important precedent by gay activists and support groups.

“In the absence of clear laws we hope now that all Italian courts follow the same path,” said Marilena Grassadonia, president of gay parents’ group, Famiglie Arcobaleno (rainbow families).

“It is the only way that we can safeguard our children.”
Italian law currently prevents couples from using a surrogate mother, and in theory, anyone caught entering into a surrogacy arrangement faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to a million euros.

Two years ago, a child was removed from parents who had paid a surrogate mother in Ukraine. The couple were charged with fraud and the child put up for adoption.  

In 2016, during debate over Italy's same-sex unions bill, the current foreign minister, Angelino Alfano, sparked outrage when he said that surrogacy should be treated as a “sex crime”. The Italian parliament approved civil unions between homosexuals last May despite fierce resistance from the Catholic Church and conservative politicians.

February 23, 2016

Italian PM Puts Job on Line for Gay Partnerships Also Wishes a Win for Hillary

 PM Matteo Renzi at 39 is the youngest leader in this country. He is considered liberal by our standards. He has always been for gay rights and marriage but the best he is hope to maybe get would be same sex unions which the Catholic Church is fiercely fighting him on. Italy being home of the vatican, which has considerable influence on both the government and public opinion. This young leader is a gutsy leader not easily intimidated.

It may seem crazy that a major Western European nation should have such an archaic attitude towards towards marriage equality in 2016 – but Italy, with a deeply conservative, Catholic history, seems to be a little slower to adapt in comparison to its neighbors. Thankfully, this may well be about to change.
Since the country elected its youngest and arguably most progressive leader, Matteo Renzi, two years ago, he has been credited with a number of dramatic improvements. There are now more women holding prominent government positions, the economy is on the mend, unemployment is down and now, he’s looking to press forward with one of his early election pledges – to introduce civil unions for same-sex couples.
The Guardian reports that, when he addressed his centre-left Democratic Party on Sunday, he stated: “We are at a crossroads. I am ready to call a confidence vote.” If successful, this extreme measure would help break the parliamentary deadlock on the bill, which stalled in the Italian senate last week thanks to the efforts of the opposition Five Star Movement (M5S). If unsuccessful it might mean Mr Renzi has to go to the polls just as he enters his third year in office.
While addressing his party Mr Renzi, went on to explain that he regarded the legislation to give same-sex couples legal recognition and protection as important as all of his other reforms.
The bill has faced vocal, and some might say predictable, opposition from the Catholic church, despite Mr Renzi’s request for the clergy not interfere with the debate – The Italian PM reasoned that the legislation does not impact on religious marriages.
A further stumbling block for the legislation is in relation to the implementation of adoption rights for same-sex couples. At the moment there is a a grey area around whether one partner in a same-sex relationship will be able to adopt the biological child of the other partner. This has lead to concerns among LGBT activist groups that some of the adoption legislation may be removed in order to ensure the civil unions bill is passed.
Mr Renzi’s party is due to announce its strategy this week.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Monday that, as a citizen and leader of a center-left party, he hopes that Hillary Clinton becomes the next president of the United States.
During a news conference with foreign media to mark his second year in office, Renzi was asked if he could work with Republican candidate Donald Trump should he win this year's election.
"As Italian prime minister, it's obvious that I would work well with whoever is president of the United States," Renzi said. "As an Italian citizen and leader of the Democratic Party, and in total respect for American democracy, I'm rooting for Hillary Clinton." 

Renzi also said he would be traveling to Tehran in April, his first trip to Iran, which until recently was the focus of Western sanctions.

January 21, 2016

LGBT Italy Says Sarri’s Homophobic Slur is an Everyday Occurrence in Football

       Coach Maurizio Sari  
Inter Coach Roberto Mancini called Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri “a racist and homophobe who should be drummed out of football.”
Maurizio Sarri’s alleged homophobic comments have sparked debate between two of Italy’s biggest gay rights organizations.

The issue emerged after a touchline row during Napoli’s 2-0 Coppa Italia defeat to Inter last night and Roberto Mancini accused Sarri of using homophobic slurs.

“We’ve been appealing to the CONI (Italian Olympic Committee) for months to impose severe sanctions on homophobic insults that occur on football pitches and beyond,” said Antonello Sannino, delegate of the Arcigay association.

“It is truly absurd to see some very strong homophobic insults passed off as simple banter. This is one of the reasons why many young people abandon football.
“I want to point out I am not in any way pointing the finger at Sarri, because it would be futile. What I want to make clear is that this type of insult happens on the pitch every single day at all levels without anyone noticing.

“I want to make an important appeal to Sarri, inviting him to our march for LGBT rights on Saturday. I’d also be happy to meet Sarri face to face.
“I just hope this affair can help everyone move something forward. This is an important ‘assist’ to provide genuine change.”
The first openly gay Mayor in the Campania region, Giorgio Zinno of San Giorgio a Cremano, also urged a dialogue.

“Obviously Sarri’s words are to be stigmatised, because insults should not be allowed in football or in sport. Having said that, football pitches are still venues where insults are traded and set a poor example.
“I wouldn’t call the Napoli Coach homophobic. In a moment of rage he brought out his baser instincts and vented his frustration in a bad way. It’s also true this story has brought out a lot of false defenders of gay rights who wouldn’t care less in everyday life.

“If this row sparked people to genuinely take an interest in gay rights, then I’d welcome it, but instead I fear they will go back to watching football and shouting at the opposition rather than caring for others.
“It’s also fair to say I was at the stadium and the words you hear bandied about are terrible. Let’s be scandalised by all insults of that nature and not try to make a storm in a teacup.”
Another gay rights association, Gay Center, called for a lengthy ban for Sarri.

“Sarri already made homophobic comments two years ago,” declared spokesman Fabrizio Marrazzo.
“As a Neapolitan and Napoli fan, I am ashamed of Sarri’s words and we demand an exemplary punishment. We hope football can launch a genuine campaign against homophobia, as such a popular sport cannot allow for violent messages.”

Yesterday: Inter Coach Roberto Mancini called Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri “a racist and homophobe who should be drummed out of football.”
The pair clashed on the touchline after Adem Ljajic scored the second goal in Inter’s 2-0 Coppa Italia quarter-final win at the Stadio San Paolo.Mancini was sent off, but when he arrived to speak to Rai Sport after the game, he was livid.
“Sarri is a racist and men like him should be drummed out of football. I got up to ask the fourth official why there were five minutes of added time.
“Sarri then got up and shouted ‘p**f’ and ‘f****t’ at me. I would be proud to be that if he is what’s considered a man.
“I am not remotely interested in talking about the game. A 60-year-old man who acts like this is shameful. You can argue, but this is shameful.
“I went to find him in the locker room and he apologised, but I want him to be ashamed of what he said. In England someone like him wouldn’t even be allowed to set foot on the touchline.”


The Guardian:

The Internazionale manager, Roberto Mancini, became embroiled in a furious spat with his Napoli counterpart during the Italian Cup quarter-final on Tuesday night, which the Milan side won 2-0 after goals from Stevan Jovetic and Adem Ljajic.
However, the result was quickly forgotten afterwards as a clearly shaken and furious Mancini told Rai TV about the exchange he had with the Napoli manager on the touchline.
 Roberto Mancini

Internazionale confirm Nemanja Vidic’s contract has been formally terminated
 Read more
“The confrontation on the touchline? You have to ask Sarri about that, he is a racist. People like him do not belong in football. He used racist words. I stood up to ask about the five minutes being added on and Sarri shouted ‘poof’ and ‘faggot’ at me. I would be proud to be that if he is what’s considered a man.”
“People like him should not be in football. He is 60 years old. The fourth official heard but didn’t say anything. He came to see me in the changing room to apologise but he should really be ashamed of himself.”
Mancini was sent off towards the end of the game for remonstrating with the Napoli bench. Mancini did not see the second goal as he became involved in the heated exchange with the fourth official and then Sarri, and was ordered from the touchline.
The row began after the fourth official mistakenly indicated nine minutes of added time before changing his mind and showing five instead.
All Sarri had to say of the incident was “that he could not remember” what he said to Mancini and that “what is said on the pitch should stay on the pitch”.
Sarri is no stranger to controversy. Last year while still in charge of Empoli, he was fined €5,000 after a match against Varese after making a rude gesture towards fans but escaped punishment for making similar comments.
“Football has become a sport for fags,” said Sarri. “We suffered twice as many fouls, but we had more yellow cards. It’s a contact sport in Italy and but the whistle is blown a lot more than in England because of the interpretation by homosexuals.”

July 22, 2015

Italy in Breach of ECHR* Same Sex Union Rights

*European Commission Human Rights
The Gay Pride Parade in Milan last month  Photo: Barcroft
 The court ruled that although states should be allowed flexibility to decide how to handle the question of rights for same-sex couples, Italy violated the article of the European Convention on Human Rights establishing the “right to respect for private and family life” by failing to provide a “specific legal framework providing for the recognition and protection of their same-sex unions”.
This is the first time the ECHR states that legal recognition of same-sex unions (civil union or registered partnership) should be available to same-sex couples.
The three couples argued that they suffered discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
A number of Italian municipalities, including Rome, have offered registration of same-sex marriages contracted overseas – but that was dismissed by the court as having “merely symbolic and did not confer any rights on same-sex couples”, including inheritance rights.
‘The European Court has said in Italy there is a violation of human rights, and this is not honorable for a large country like ours, ‘ Scalfarotto has said. The judges in Strasbourg said that Italy’s delay was no longer tolerable. The court urged Italy to provide such recognition, and ordered it to pay damages and compensation to the case’s plaintiffs. The court said that only 24 of them have legislation on same-sex unions.
Italy remains the only major country in Western Europe which does not have legal protections for cohabiting same-sex couples, or same-sex marriage.
The European Court of Human Rights was set up in 1959 and aims to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law across the continent.
The ruling will prove to be controversial in Italy, where the coalition government of centre-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged to put forward legislation to recognise civil partnerships.
But recent opinion polls have shown a significant swing in favor of reform, following a pattern seen in Ireland, like Italy a strongly Catholic country, which overwhelmingly voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriages in May.

July 15, 2014

A Mayor in a Town in Italy is Outlawing Gay Kissing ($680Fine)

                                                                reports that the mayor of Italian municipality Borgosesia is seeking to ban same-sex couples from kissing in public.

 This mayor can kiss my adz
 The mayor, Gianluca Buonanno, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica: "Kissing in public between homosexuals? No thanks. I don't like two people of the same sex making public displays of affection. It's a question of respect. And I'm convinced that it's also morally harmful for children."
Couples could be fined up to 500 euros ($680 USD) for kissing under the proposed measure.
European Parliament member Daniele Viotti, among other officials, have dismissed the mayor's effort. "[The] new decree is just the latest, pathetic publicity stunt by a narrow-minded man who desperately wants to be in the spotlight," Viotti told Pink News. "[He's giving] a voice to all the worst values that, unfortunately, are still circulating in Europe. It would be an interesting psychological exercise to ask why Mr. Buonanno is so obsessed with homosexuality."
According to Huffington Post, the mayor has a reputation for odd stunts, such as telling La Repubblica he wants to hang a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin, notorious for his anti-gay policies, in his office. Buonanno was also expelled from Parliament earlier this year for waving a sea bass around while in session. He cited the move as a form of protest against a bill that would decriminalize undocumented immigration
Though Italy has a history of anti-LGBT officials, support for civil unions for same-sex couples is high in Italy. BTL spoke with a gay Italian exchange student earlier this year on the acceptance of LGBT people in the country.
Though the country’s government does not currently recognize the legitimacy of same-sex civil unions, the Italian Senate is expected to debate the issue in Sept.

April 10, 2014

A First : Italian Court Recognizes Gay Marriage



ROME - An Italian court on Wednesday recognized a gay couple as married for the first time in Italy, which does not have any form of official acknowledgement of same-sex unions.
The court in Grosseto in Tuscany ordered the city council to list the couple, who had their wedding in New York in 2012, as married in a ruling that was immediately hailed by gay rights campaigners as historic.

"This is an unprecedented case in our country," Sergio Lo Giudice, a senator for the Democratic Party and a former head of the watchdog Arcigay, told reporters.
Aurelio Mancuso, head of Equality Italia, said: “They have managed to achieve what has always been denied by city authorities and courts -- having their status as a couple married in a foreign country recognized".

Fabrizio Marrazzo, a spokesman for Gay Center, also hailed "a revolutionary event that deserves a positive political response" from Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Italy is one of the few countries in Europe that does not recognize same-sex civil unions or marriage.

Grosseto judge Claudio Boccini ruled that there was "no reference to gender" in the city council register of married couples and the couple in question should therefore be included.
The right to marry “has acquired new and wider connotations, which include marriage between two people of the same gender," the judge said.

The two, who are 68 and 57 years old, were denied registration following their marriage in New York in 2012 but had appealed to the court.
A local daily, Il Tirreno, named them as Giuseppe Chigiotti, an architect, and Stefano Bucci, a journalist.

Source: Agence France Presse

April 8, 2014

Sesso a pagamento con l'amante

Le religiose gli avevano affidato il denaro perché lo custodisse
Lui invece lo spender per la relazione con un giovane marocchino (archivio)

dLauredana Marsiglia
FELTRE - Un nuovo scandalo esce dalle volte sacre delle chiese, tanto che il sacerdote è stato allontanato in fretta e furia dal vescovo di Belluno-Feltre. La giustificazione dell’improvvisa assenza fu annunciata come "problemi di salute".

Il parroco del feltrino è finito sotto inchiesta per estorsione nei confronti di un giovane marocchino con il quale avrebbe intrattenuto da tempo una relazione. Ma non si trattava di amore né prestazioni date o effettuate sotto minaccia, bensì di sesso a pagamento. E per pagare quel giovane magrebino il reverendo usava i soldi che le suore del vicino asilo gli affidavano.

January 9, 2014

Police Arrest Man in Connection of Murdered Gay Activist in Italy

Daniele Fulli, 28, is believed to have been attacked with a bradawl, murdered and thrown in a ditch. Gay Star News Reports this morning an arrest is been made on the killing of Italian gay activist Daniele Fulli whose body was found on a ditch along the river. The Murder was reported tuesday and early this morning at an amazing speed the alleged killer was in custody.
DANIELE GUIDO GESSA reported this morning:
Italian police have arrested a man suspected of murdering a gay activist discovered in a ditch.
Andrea Troisio, 31,  was taken into custody by the Roman police for the alleged murder of Daniele Fulli, 28, the gay man found dead on the banks of the Tiber river last Tuesday (7 January).
The Italian police stopped Troisio after a quick investigation, several interviews and after having tracked his cell phone. He was taken into custody at night and he was found at a drug addiction support clinic. He was already known to police.
The Italian authorities believe Fulli, a young hairdresser, died on 4 January. The coroner found two holes and the police is now saying he probably died because of a bradawl - similar to a screwdriver.
When discovered, Fulli was badly bruised and he was stripped from below his waist. The alleged murder frightened the Roman LGBTI community as several homophobic attacks have made the headlines in the last few months.
According to Fulli’s closest friends, Fulli was having an affair with Simone D, when the young man committed suicide last October.
Fulli was well known by the Roman LGBTI activists as he was a volunteer at the Gay Center headquarters.
Speaking to Gay Star News, Gay Center’s president Fabrizio Marrazzo said: ‘Rome is like the rest of Italy. Gay hate is still too strong, we don’t have an anti-homophobia law and LGBTI have not been give the basic rights in the recent past.
‘We loved Daniele, he was very sensible and he helped us so much. But what happened to him could happen everywhere in Italy, gay hate is a virus.
‘Rome makes the headlines because here in the capital the LGBTI associations are very proactive and people are used to report the crimes to the police.
‘Politicians are doing nothing basically. We can only fight with our resources, I can say we are not supported by anyone. We feel lonely.’ 

January 8, 2014

Gay Rights in Italy are Still Elusive

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 by the emperor Claudius.
From the 11th floor of the apartment block, which once housed a pasta factory, the 21-year-old could probably just discern the darkened outline of the Colosseum about a mile away. It may have been the last thing he saw.
"I'm gay," the student, identified only as Simone D., said in a note discovered after he jumped to his death. "Italy is a free country. But there are homophobes, and those like that must search their consciences."
His suicide in the early hours of Oct. 27 brought sorrow to this city, but also a tragic sense of familiarity. 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 14-year-old boy leaped from his balcony; before that, a 15-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 nations 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.
"We're not talking about building a spaceship or getting marriage equality, which is utopia," said Marcello Signore, 25, a writer in Milan. "An anti-homophobia law is something that we should have had in the '80s."
Critics cite a fractured and conservative political 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.
"I can do whatever I want in the city center of Rome, but I can't do whatever I want in my [home] city, which is in Sicily, or outside in the Roman suburbs," said Alfredo Capra, 27, an information technology student in the Italian capital. "People in the suburbs continue to live hidden."
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 go 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" quickly 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 the 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 for 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.
"We have an Italian society open to gays," said Alessandra Filograno, an activist at Rome's Gay Center. "We don't have a political class in favor…. They seem to be 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.
"For us, the priority is the family, which is formed by marriage between a man and a woman," he told the newspaper La Repubblica last month. "Principles of ethics are not negotiable for those who believe in them."
That doesn't mean there are no supporters of gay rights in positions of power. In September, a group of legislators with the populist Five Star movement, the largest party in Parliament but not a member of the ruling coalition, staged a same-sex hug-and-kiss-in at the 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 rights. So has the blatant prejudice of some lawmakers, like the one from the right-wing Northern League who mockingly held up a piece of fennel when openly gay representative Alessandro Zan stood to speak. In Italian, the word for fennel is used as a derogatory term for gay men.
"There are people who will try anything to create news," said Zan, who belongs to a small left-wing party.
He is 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 17-year-old girl).
Berlusconi once proclaimed that it was "better to like beautiful girls than to be gay." Many of his supporters are men who admire his wealth and the bevy of young beauties on whom he has lavished gifts and political appointments.
Critics say Berlusconi has coarsened civic life and fueled a widespread culture of reflexive machismo.
"Here in Italy we've had 40 years of [conservative] Christian Democrat governments and 20 of Berlusconi," said Zan. "It's time to change."
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 and 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 to go out alone for a walk at night in Rome because of potential gay-bashing.
A nationwide survey of 4,000 high school students by Rome's Gay Center found that 5% identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender; of these, nearly three-quarters said their families and schools would not accept their orientation, and one-third said they had contemplated suicide.
The death of Simone D., who was believed to have suffered harassment at the hospital where he worked as an intern, drew hundreds of activists and allies onto the streets of Rome demanding legal rights and protections for gays and lesbians.
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." He credits much of his political awakening to the year he spent living in Los Angeles, in 2009, when he was 20.
"I knew that it was far, far away, but I would never imagine that it was so different from the world I was used to. I saw gay people having babies. I saw families," he said.
"Everything seemed so natural," said Signore, who discovered the world of dating, relationships and happy everyday existence. "And I think I brought that back with me. If that is really possible … I want to have it in my country too. I said to myself, ‘I can have that.’"

By Henry Chu 

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