Target: President of the House of Deputies of Italy Laura Boldini
Goal: Make homophobic and transphobic violence legal offences in Italy
The House of Deputies, Italy’s lower house of parliament, is currently in intense debate over a statute that would make it a legal offense to commit violence on the basis of sexuality or gender identity. The law would also provide the first steps towards protecting gay and transgender individuals from other forms of discrimination. Needless to say, the House of Deputies has a duty to its many citizens to pass this law, and ensure the same protections for gay and transgender individuals as are enjoyed by the rest of the nation.
The law is actually an addendum to the Mancino Law of 1993, which protects individuals from violence and discrimination based on gender, religion, race and ethnicity. The addendum, which has no name, would amend the Mancino Law to also protect individuals from discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity. In addition to the obvious importance of protecting marginalized individuals from violence, the bill will also pave the way for other reforms in LGBTQ rights in Italy, including granting LGBTQ individuals protection from employment discrimination.
Homophobic and transphobic violence is sadly commonplace in Italy. Attacks on LGBTQ individuals, particularly gay men vacationing in Italy, have risen exponentially since 2009. Last August saw a peak in the discriminatory violence, when a predominantly gay nightclub was bombed, putting several hundred lives at risk. Unfortunately, the lack of legal protection for LGBTQ individuals meant that conservative factions within the government of Italy were able to easily brush off the attacks as the random acts of delinquents.
No individual should ever be a victim of violence due to his or her sexuality or gender identity. We must urge the House of Deputies to sign this law into effect, and offer Italy’s gay and transgender community the protection it deserves.
Dear President of the House of Deputies Laura Boldini,
Since August of 2009, Italy has become one of the most dangerous places in Western Europe for gay or transgender individuals to be. Gay and transphobic hate crimes are frighteningly common, and measures are necessary to protect these minorities from victimization.
That is why the House of Deputies should strongly consider passing the amendment to the Mancino Law that would grant legal protection to these groups. Now, more than ever, it is critical that Italy reform its policy on LGBTQ individuals, and offer them the same rights enjoyed by other marginalized groups.
[Your Name Here]
Image Credit: Usario Mnemoc