Thousands of people celebrated at the Gay Pride Parade in Rome yesterday.
Rome-(Italy)– With the march, the participants demanded equal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT). They chanted slogans against the Vatican, which this week put pressure on the government not to pass a controversial anti-homophobia law in parliament. During the night, some of the sights were illuminated with the rainbow colors.
The demonstrators called for the swift passage of the law, which has already been passed in the Chamber of Deputies and has yet to be approved by the Senate. The right-wing parties oppose the law.
Law against Discrimination
In the penal code, the current draft law equates homophobia with racism and hatred for religious reasons. This would supplement those passages of the Italian Criminal Code that already prove racially, ethnically or religiously motivated discrimination with imprisonment – namely, the facts of discrimination on the basis of gender, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
For those who incite homophobic discrimination or violence, up to four years imprisonment are provided, as is currently the case with racial discrimination.
The draft law, drafted by the Social Democratic parliamentarian Alessandro Zan, provides for heavy fines for discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. Threats, attacks or bullying can be punished with up to four years in prison. The same applies to hate speech against people because of their “gender, sexual orientation or sexual identification”. In addition, according to the draft, May 17th should be declared a national day against homophobia.
Gay Pride Parade In Rome History
The inaugural Gay Pride Rome first took place in June, 1994, and while the development has been a relatively slow process, Pride and the general LGBTQ scene in the city is continuing to go from strength to strength. The very first WorldPride took place in Rome in 2000, with a week-long festival that attracted a host of gay activists from roughly 40 countries. An estimated 70,000 marchers participated in the rally, setting the precedent for the many World Prides to follow.
Rome Pride again achieved a claim to fame in 2011, when Euro Pride hosted its annual celebration in the Eternal City. The impressive event welcomed headline act, Lady Gaga, and attracted a large number of people, cementing Rome Pride as noteworthy staple in Europe’s Gay Pride calendar.
Today Rome Pride is a fun-filled day that usually takes place on a Saturday in June. The parade normally kicks off from Piazza della Republicca, close to Roma Termini station, and travels through the city streets before finishing up at Piazza Venezia. Following the parade each year, many of the city’s gay bars and clubs host special events and parties to keep the celebrations going well into the night. With a law passing civil unions for LGBTQ people in 2016, the general openness and acceptance towards the community is improving in the Eternal City, and the annual Roma Pride is a testament to this.