05 February 2016

Italians Do Not Want Gay Marriage

Family Day in Italy
Thousands of people were reported to have filled Rome's Circus Maximus last 30 January to protest a proposal from some unpopular minority group to legally recognize same-sex civil unions in Italy, the only county in Western Europe not to do so.

Around 1,500 buses were chartered from across Italy to bring the protesters, who filled the ancient Roman chariot racing arena. Parents pushed strollers; Roman Catholic priests were out in force, and people waved balloons and banners, including one that read, "No to the Gaystapo," a reference to the Nazi Gestapo.

Organizers claimed 2 million people attended the "Family Day" rally, which could be a conservative value since more buses are arriving as of press time.

The figures are important. Italian politicians pay close attention to such events and have been known to change their position on legislation, depending on how many people show up.

Supporters of the bill also have been making themselves heard, staging a series of demonstrations across Italy for several days now.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government opted to delay the start of voting on the proposed changes in the Italian Senate — originally planned for 28 January — until after the rally, and politicians are likely to argue for days about the true turnout.

Renzi’s interior minister, Angelino Alfano, received the organizer of the rally, Massimo Gandolfini, at his office before the event and tweeted, "Full support for the objectives of the demonstration."

Speakers at the Circus Maximus were cheered as they lambasted the government’s proposals.

A number of those in the crowd said they were prepared to see same-sex couples receive inheritance rights, for example, but objected to a hotly debated clause that would permit them to legally adopt the biological children of their partners.