The Vatican is lobbying against Italy’s anti-homosexuality law

The Vatican has written to the Italian government warning that a bill to combat homophobia could violate the 92-year-old Lateran Treaty between Rome and the Catholic Church, restricting religious freedom in Italy.

The Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported on Tuesday that Vatican Secretary of State Paul Gallagher had sent a letter to the Holy See’s embassy in Rome expressing concern. Gay bill At the stage of discussion by the Italian Parliament.

The Vatican confirmed that it had sent a letter to the Italian embassy in the Holy See last week, but did not comment on its contents. Direct intervention by the Vatican on the issue of Italian legislation is extremely rare. Diplomatic discussions between the city-state “Rome” rarely spill over into the public eye.

Protest against the proposed anti-homophobia legislation, known as the Zan An bill, after lawmaker Alessandro Zan left it. The letter said it threatened the Church’s “freedom of thought” and expressed fears that religious schools would be forced to take part in a new national day to combat homophobia.

In 1929, the then Kingdom of Italy signed a treaty with Pope Pius XI, known as the Lateran Treaty, which recognized the Vatican as an independent state and compensated the Holy See for the loss of papal states. The agreement was recognized in the Italian Constitution in 1948.

Italy has laws that punish crimes committed on the grounds of racial or religious discrimination, but does not provide special protection based on sexual orientation, gender or gender identity. Similarly, the Vatican has often condemned discrimination, but has also expressed concern about gender theories, which are vague among men and women.

Recognition of the rights of homosexuals has become a battleground between the left and right sides of Italy. The leader of the anti-immigration “Liga” party, Matteo Salvini, blew up the proposed legislation, as it was first introduced last year.

Italy passed a law recognizing same-sex unions in 2016 under the government of Matteo Renzi, despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church. League senator Roberto Calderoli said at the time that any lawmaker who voted for him would “go to hell.”

On Tuesday, Salvini said he was ready to discuss the issue with Democratic central party leader Enrico Letta to “guarantee the rights” to punish discrimination and violence without indulging in ideology or censorship, without invading families or schools. »

A study published last year by Eurobarometer showed that the admission of LGBT people in Italy is lower than the European average. Fifty-five percent of Italians agree that a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person should be prime minister, compared with 90 percent and 93 percent in Sweden. In the Netherlands.

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