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DDL Zan and the end of compromises

It’s time for Italy to take a clear and distruptive stance on civil rights and discrimination issues

By Francesca Parravicini

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Alessandro Zan (@alessandro.zan)

If we have to outline with an image the discussions related to the recent history of LGBT+ rights in Italy we can draw a roller coaster track: there are moments in which the car climbs to very high peaks, almost touching the sky, other moments in which it descends at full speed and then slows down its course until it stops on an essentially flat track.

There is media buzz, people talk about it, protest, but it often seems that after a period of turmoil everything falls into a sort of limbo and then silence, with this cycle that is repeated periodically.

And often, if a victory is obtained (a sort of miracle) it’s always a wounded victory: this is the case of the civil partnership, a law initially presented in 1986 (like a geological era ago) and then subsequently re-proposed in various forms and from different political groups until it was approved in 2016 with the DDL Cirinnà.

It was approved, but with the exclusion of a very important issue such as adoption and the effective equation with marriage equality.

The story is similar with DDL Zan, a law presented by Alessandro Zan, a deputy from PD, and aimed at protecting LGBT+ people from hate crimes: a first attempt was made by Franco Grillini in 2002, followed by other proposals, always lapsed, and then in July 2020 we DDL Zan, that takes up the basis of the already existing Mancino Law, aimed at punishing religious, political and racial discrimination and adds aggravating factors for sexual orientation, gender and gender identity.

After various postponements (so strange) the law was approved by the House and then blocked in the Senate, after Lega and other right-wing parties deemed it as “not a priority”.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Acrimònia Magazine (@acrimoniamagazine)

This story created a huge protest, perhaps for the first time in Italy: many personalities, from the world of culture, entertainment, fashion, politics have sided in favor of the DDL, which was literally thrown at the center of the public debate. Perhaps for the first time, LGBT+ issues are at the very heart of italian pop culture.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Donatella Versace (@donatella_versace)

At the same time, a whole group of very angry and very indignant people have risen on the other side of the fence, because they see this law as a terrible threat to an alleged freedom of expression and claim that they want to serve the interests of LGBT+ people (how polite of them), that with this law are going to be considered as "a special category" but in reality they do not need protection, because discrimination does not exist.

But is this true? Can we talk about freedom of expression, when this alleged expression comes to deny the very existence of an entire categories of people? Maybe not. And I find that there is something very bizarre about the ideas of these individuals, who openly despise minorities and would probably like to see them disappear from the face of the earth: if their lives are so irrelevant why they waste so much time being angry about them, when they are actually do not concern their lives at all? Very strange.

And it's not about creating special categories, that deserve protection, like pandas in a reserve.

It’s absolutely a fact that in Italy homophobia is a well rooted problem in the culture of our society at every level, a society that is still strongly sexist and patriarchal (a deadly combo) and we often represent the tail lamp in the EU as far as it concerns LGBT+ rights (in a report of the European Agency of Fundamental Rights, Italy is among the first countries with the highest rate of discrimination). Also, recently the news broadcast is full of cases of violence on the basis of sexual orientation.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Beppe Sala (@beppesala)

Minorities are minorities because they represent only a part of the collective body of society, but at the same time they are part of it, they ensure that it can exist. For those like me who were born and raised in the 90s, discovering themselves as “different” and looking around in search of references and models to follow was an experience full of loneliness: lots of silence and a few words to be generous and an aura of transgression and condemnation.

LGBT+ people have long been considered “other” than the norm, a category of non-people, whose existence is a negative space  or full of shame and ridicule. Today, slowly, with difficulty, we are starting to see the situation for what it is: yes, a minority, but a minority that forms the majority, which can be anyone, who is the person you meet on the street, with whom you become friend with.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Acrimònia Magazine (@acrimoniamagazine)