ROME, December 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A set of instructions for journalists by a government department that threatens professional sanctions and possible jail time for writing unfavorably about homosexuality and “gay marriage,” has raised outrage among some sections of the Italian parliament. The document is a straightforward attempt to co-opt the entire profession into the homosexual agenda, a group of 21 Deputies has said.
Alessandro Pagano, a Deputy from Sicily and a staunch opponent of the parliamentary abortion and euthanasia lobbies, has called the guidelines “a gag order” and a deliberate suppression of “freedom of information and expression” by an ideologically motivated faction. It presages, he said, “the new forms of dictatorship of the twenty-first century.”
The document, issued by the Ministry of Equal Opportunities’ racial discrimination office, (Ufficio Nazionale Antidiscriminazioni Razziali, UNAR) instructs journalists not to portray any hint of the existence of opposition to the homosexual political agenda. Instead of debates on television between those in favor and those opposed, talk shows must present the appearance of complete social agreement.
Pagano said the document was prepared with the express purpose of imposing “the LGBT ideology on public opinion through a ‘domesticated’ media” by a “working group composed exclusively of 29 gay and lesbian associations,” including Arcigay, Italy Equality, Gay Center, Gay Help Line and Gay.Net.
Pagano is one of 21 signatories of an “interpolation” asking parliament to address the freedom of speech and religion issues raised by the document.
The UNAR guidelines say that those refusing to comply could face professional sanctions from the journalists’ union, the Ordine Giornalisti, and even- with the expected passage of legislation criminalizing “homophobia” – face possible jail time for offending homosexual activists.
Journalists, he said, “in order to avoid being brought before the Order of Journalists union and the imposition of penalties, will be forced to comply with a sort of handbook that requires them, in fact, to address LGBT issues in a complacent way.”
The guidelines say that the terms “gay family” or “homosexual family” are not to be used so as to avoid the implication that there is any difference between them and natural families. No mention must be made of “traditional marriage,” or of “tradition, nature and procreation,” which are “a sure sign of homophobia.”
No hint is to be given that children adopted by homosexual partners are in any way different from other adopted children and writers are not to imply that adoption rules should consider the child’s need for a mother and a father “as a fundamental condition for the completeness of psychological equilibrium.”
The acronym “LGBT,” which is not currently widely used in Italy, should be “acquired by the common language, used, and made known.” Photos used in news stories should not be of “Gay Pride” events or of displays of public nudity. Instead, photos portraying “images of everyday life” must be used.
Eugenia Roccella, a PdL Deputy and former feminist who has embraced the pro-life position, issued a statement saying “It’s amazing that a body such as the UNAR, connected to the Prime Minister, can issue, outside of its competence, a self-censorship code that calls for chasing and flattering ideological conformism.
“We are confident that the government is on the side of freedom of information and thought and cannot share in the gag in the name of political correctness,” Roccella said.
Antonio Brandi, one of the country’s leading pro-life advocates and the publisher of a monthly pro-life and pro-family magazine, “Pro-life News,” told LifeSiteNews.com that although such brazenly ideological favoritism seems shocking, the threat is perfectly credible.
The UNAR’s “recommendations” he said, “are in my view totally illogical and go against nature.”
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“It will be no longer possible to refer to transsexual prostitutes but instead to ‘trans sex operators,’” he said. “It will not be possible to say that a child needs a mother and a father to maintain his or her psychological equilibrium, etc.”
“As the law against ‘homophobia and transphobia’ is about to be passed by the Senate, the ‘politically incorrect’ journalist will risk not only expulsion from the Order of Journalists but even jail.” He confirmed that, even as a private publication run by Catholics to promote the Catholic teachings, his own work, that employs a small cadre of faithful Catholic professional journalists, will be under threat.
Asked whether the instructions would likely be enforceable, he said that part of the problem is the weakness of the Italian judiciary in defending the constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. “Our judiciary is rather politically and ideologically motivated,” he said, “and freedom of religion and of expression shall be persecuted.”
The “prime objective” of the impending law outlawing “homophobia,” Brandi said, is “to banish any objection to gay weddings and gay or trans adoptions.”
This objection is supported by the bill’s lead promoter, Ivan Scalfarotto, who told Italian media that it is intended to “precede” and smooth the way for “gay marriage” legislation that is already planned. Brandi noted that a few days ago, two major leftist political parties, the Partito Democratico and 5 Star Movement have proposed the introduction of “gay marriages” to the Senate Commission.
He called Pagano and Roccella “genuine heroes” adding that they are far from alone in parliament. “There are many Senators from the Lega Nord [Northern League] and the NCD [New Centre Right] who are fighting hard against these discriminatory recommendations.”
“It is all simply absurd, they are turning upside down all the anthropological parameters over which human society has developed for the last two thousand years,” Brandi said.