ROME, September 17, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Italy’s controversial proposed law banning expressions of “homophobia” returned to the House of Deputies this afternoon, with Italian political watchers predicting that it will come to its first vote in the lower house tomorrow afternoon.
Despite the hundreds of amendments, the legislation is still being opposed by pro-life and pro-family voices, who warn that it poses a significant threat to freedom of speech, and is designed to pave the way for gay “marriage.”
Popolo dell Liberta (PDL) Deputy Eugenia Roccella said after the House closed this evening that there is still no agreement among Deputies. She noted that a set of legal rulings on the bill’s constitutionality obtained 100 votes, more than twice that predicted. “We are satisfied with a result that clearly indicates a profound unease, especially in the PDL, against a repressive and illiberal proposal that severely limits freedom of opinion,” she said.
Presented as a mere addition to current legislation, the bill has been denounced by Catholic legislators as a means of imposing the “ideology of gender”. Critics have said that even though the bill no longer proposes mandatory “re-education” for offenders – which would have forced them to participate in the homosexualist movement – it is still a direct threat to basic democratic freedoms.
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Pro-family campaigners were alarmed during the summer when homosexual activist Deputy Ivan Scalfarotto admitted that the anti-homophobia law was intended as a means of smoothing the path for the introduction of same-sex civil partnerships or even “gay marriage”.
In an interview in L’Espresso on August 26th, Scalfarotto was asked if the homophobia bill precludes laws on civil union or “gay marriage”. He replied “I would say that [the current bill] precedes it…And of course one is logically prior to the other.”
That admission should “dissipate any doubt over the ‘PC’ intention of the anti-homophobia law, which has the clear goal to lay the groundwork for educational and rehabilitative deconstructing of the pillars of social harmony,” wrote Giancarlo Cerrelli, Vice-President of the Union of Catholic Jurists.
Cerrelli urged Catholic legislators not to “haggle” with the bill’s supporters over its details. He said, “Adopting such a law will facilitate the forward march and penetration into our culture of gender ideology, which has targeted the deconstruction of our society, with an initial homosexualisation of the [younger] generations.”
Cerrelli noted that one of the bill’s supporters, Michela Marzano (PD), has said that it will necessitate programs for “prevention of discrimination” to be installed in schools. The bill, Cerrelli wrote, would “terminate” the right of parents to teach their children that sexuality is innate, and “not a cultural choice and perception.” He cited the numerous cases in Britain, Germany and the US, where “ordinary citizens who said they were in favor of natural marriage are fired” and there is now “talk about ‘rehabilitation’ of heterosexuals.”
Although much of the wording was changed in a flurry of amendments in July, the bill now proposes to add the category of “crimes motivated by homophobia and transphobia,” leaving those terms undefined. Critics have said that the bill’s purpose is at first to insert these concepts into Italy’s laws. Once that conceptual beachhead is established, later work, both in Parliament and the courts, can bring in the desired restrictions.
In a television debate, Cerrelli faced Fabrizio Marrazzo, a spokesman for Gay Centers, who said the law should include jail time for those who consider homosexuality a disease, discomfort or disorder. Cerrelli responded that this was precisely the problem, that the law in reality aims to quash any public disagreement with the homosexualist movement’s goals.
In an article in Tempi.it, Cerrelli wrote that the “project” behind the bill “aims at – by what are now very clear stages – the change of the social structure in an artificial way, which provides, inter alia, for the abolition of our legal terms of ‘father,’ ‘mother,’ ‘husband’ and ‘wife,’ as has already happened for example in Spain and in France.”
The City of Venice recently tabled a proposal to scrap the terms father and mother in all forms related to public housing and kindergarten applications, a move that was hotly contested among the city’s councilors, including the Mayor.