Italy’s newly elected Prime Minister and leader of the nationalist Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, heads a political party which is rooted in ideologies of the far-right and has a history of being against LGBTQI rights.
Earlier this year, PM Meloni gave a speech organised by Spain’s far-right party VOX where she outlined her policies which included, “Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology… no to Islamist violence, yes to secure borders, no to mass migration… no to big international finance… no to the bureaucrats of Brussels!”
Meloni has publicly voiced her opposition to both surrogacy and adoption for same-sex couples, stating that she believes children would be raised better by a man and a woman while arguing that she is not homophobic.
God, Homeland And Family
In 2019, Meloni’s socially conservative views led her to assert her goal to defend “God, homeland and family”, and her party has continuously promoted the line of traditional family values and opposed gay marriages.
Meloni also told reporters in 2020 that she disagreed with reports that LGBTQI people were discriminated against or that there was an ‘escalation’ in hate crimes towards LGBTQI people in Italy.
“We cannot say that today, in the Italian reality, homosexuals are discriminated against. Out of violence, of hatred. I look at the relevant observatory and it tells me that out of 1500 cases reported in the last 8 years only 200 concerned gender discrimination. It is a reality, but it is not an escalation,” Meloni said.
According to Italian news outlet Gay.It, last year 138 cases of transphobia was reported by national newspapers. LGBTQI activists said it was the “tip of the iceberg” in comparison to the “physical and verbal violence” experienced and often “silenced by the victims”. Gay.It stated that Meloni’s observation of “‘official’ data” was baseless.
Growth Of Far-Right In Italy
Italy currently is the only major country in Western Europe that has not legalised same-sex marriages. Though Italy has legalised same-sex civil unions, gay couples do not have the same rights as married heterosexual couples, especially with regards to parenting and joint adoption is not an option.
The far-right politics under Meloni’s party saw the rejection of the Zan bill, which would have made violence against queer people a hate crime. Brothers of Italy and the Lega (League) argued that this law was promoting “homosexual propaganda” and reduced the freedom of expression of individuals.
Brothers of Italy has promised pro-nationalist policies, including a hard line on immigration with promises to enforce strict border controls, and has called for a naval blockade to stop migrants from Africa’s Mediterranean coast from reaching Italy.
Alliance With Hungarian PM Viktor Orban
Meloni’s alliance with Hungarian nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban and her attendance at the Conservative Political Action Conference this year has sparked fears for the undermining of queer rights.
American political scientist Ian Bremmer posted to Twitter, “Italy’s next pm Georgia Meloni says she opposes adoption by gay couples”.
Recently, the inclusion of a same-sex couple in children’s cartoon series Peppa Pig was criticised by Brothers of Italy’s culture spokesperson, Federico Mollicone, who said broadcasting the episode in Italy would be “unacceptable”.
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