ROME, April 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As Italy’s Senate Judiciary Committee continues its deliberations on the Renzi government’s civil unions bill, the Italian bishops conference has warned that it will usher in a regime of “ideological enforcement” of the so-called gender ideology. The bill, said the general secretary of the Italian bishops’ conference, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, confuses the “proper respect for rights with the flattening of the reality [of the family] that historically, culturally and anthropologically are different from each other.”
“There will be a time when families with a father, a mother and their children will have to apologize for existing,” Galantino said. He advised legislators to listen to the people of Italy, and not only to lobbyists.
The bill’s author and parliamentary sponsor, Deputy Monica Cirinnà, said, “I respect the positions of the CEI [Italian bishops’ conference], but I deal with laws and rights, rather than crimes. And not with sins.”
She continued, “Everyone on the issue of civil unions has their positions. And CEI speaks, expressing opinions that I respect, for the Italian bishops.”
Even stronger was opposition from Carlo Giovanardi, a senator of the New Centre Right party, who said that the idea of homosexual civil unions, which includes the right to adopt children, would reduce the child to the status of a product. “The text Cirinnà makes us regress nearly two thousand years, when the slaves had no rights over their children, because the son of the slave was considered a fruit [a product], and therefore belonged to the owner of the thing,” Giovanardi said.
The New Centre Right has campaigned strongly against proposals to allow surrogacy, called in Italian “dell’utero in affitto,” literally, “uterus for rent.” They argue that creating an equivalent institution to marriage, and including child-adoption, would lead inevitably to demands for surrogacy which they say dehumanizes both mothers and children.
The warning against the incursions of gender ideology into law may come as a surprise from Galantino, who is not known as a strong defender of traditional sexual morality. In October last year, Galantino openly accused the Catholic Church of harboring habitually discriminatory attitudes towards “unconventional couples.”
In the lead-up to the Synod of Bishops on the family, Galantino said at a conference that people in such unions suffer “discrimination” and “prejudice” from the Church. “Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice,” he said.
Referring to the practice of withholding Holy Communion from those in “irregular” sexual unions, Galantino continued, “Other believers perceive the discipline of the Church as an exclusion of these brothers and sisters.”
Those who live in such “irregular” situations he said, “live their condition with great suffering” and “perceive the discipline of the Church as very strict, not inclusive, if not punitive.”
Italy had been mainly immune to the efforts of international homosexualist and “gender” lobbyists until about two years ago. At that time, news items began appearing locally, and then nationally, of parents clashing with local school authorities who wanted to insert into the curriculum materials approved through a government “anti-racism” office called the National Bureau Against Racial Discrimination (UNAR), a department of the Ministry for Equal Opportunities.
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So alarmed have some MPs and parents groups become at the trend that a bill was introduced into the Italian Parliament in April last year specifically stating that parents have the right to defend their children from homosexualist propaganda. One of the bill’s sponsors, New Centre Right Deputy Eugenia Roccella, said that the bill’s purpose is to “reaffirm and ensure the fundamental right to educational choice of parents, as set out, inter alia, in the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
The source of this new political trend was a “National Strategy” agreement worked out between the Italian government and activists at the Council of Europe. The document says that the Council of Europe adopted the policy of pressing member states to “combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity” in 2010. The UNAR signed on to the project to commit to “the implementation of operational objectives relevant in prevention and combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and, in particular, the definition of a national strategy in collaboration with the Council Europe.”
“It is a plan of integrated and multidisciplinary actions able to provide a dynamic and coordinated response to the contrast of discrimination based on sexual and gender identity,” involving “integrated prevention, law enforcement and the removal of all forms of discrimination.”
The result was the project called “Diversity in Education,” which the UNAR developed in consultation with the country’s leading homosexualist activist group, Arcigay. Il Foglio newspaper has reported that the UNAR has a budget allocation of ten million Euros backing the project that has been advertised as aiming at “fighting homophobia” in schools and the media, with the timeframe set for 2013-15.
Apart from the penetration of the country’s schools, Italian journalists have been threatened with professional sanctions, and even criminal charges, if they portray homosexuals and “transsexuals” in anything but a positive light. Another UNAR document was issued giving itemized lists of what journalists can and cannot say.
The National Strategy document openly admits that its aim is to alter Italian cultural norms to conform to the demands of the new gender theories. It is an “important and significant multi-year project” to obtain “objectives and specific measures” to “give a strong impetus to the process of cultural change.”