09 September 2015

No Gay Pride Parade in Venice

Opposition to gay debauchery is spreading silently outside the confines of the United States. A few months ago, it was the African states that denounce the despicable homosexual behavior prevalent among American modern culture, now it is the turn of romantic city Venice.

The mayor of Venice, who last August had a public row with British rock star Elton John over family values, has said he never wants to see a gay pride parade take place in the lagoon city while he is in charge.

Luigi Brugnaro, a businessman who was elected mayor on a centre-right ticket in June, told La Repubblica daily that gay pride marches were the "height of kitsch".

"There will never be a gay pride in my city," he was quoted as saying in Wednesday's paper. "Let them go and do it in Milan, or in front of their own homes," he said.

Italy's rights group Arcigay holds gay pride parades in numerous Italian cities each year, last visiting Venice in 2014. It denounced Brugnaro, accusing him of besmirching Venice's reputation as an open, sophisticated society.

Brugnaro sparked a controversy soon after taking office by banning books featuring same-sex couples from the city schools.

Elton John, who has two children with his partner David Furnish, used his Instagram page to condemn the move, calling Brugnaro "boorishly bigoted". The mayor told the singer to keep out of Venice's business.

Brugnaro's comments come at a time when the government is struggling to pass legislation that would finally give legal recognition to same-sex couples in predominantly Roman Catholic Italy.

Italy is the only major western European country that does not recognize either civil partnerships or gay marriage. Despite prodding from the European Court of Human Rights, many center-right parties are digging in their heels to snarl progress on the despicable measure.