Vatican opposing proposed Italian law against homophobia

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The Vatican said it opposes proposed legislation from the Italian government which expands anti-discrimination protections for the LGBT community, multiple news outlets reported on Tuesday. 

The Vatican’s foreign minister Archbishop Paul Gallagher wrote in a letter to the Italian ambassador of the Holy See that the new “Zan” law violates the government’s agreement with the church. 

The Zan law, named after lawmaker and gay rights activist Alessandro Zan, will protect people who are disabled, gay or transgender from discrimination and hate crimes.  

The Italian House passed the proposed legislation in November, but it must still pass the conservative Senate, France24 reported.

The Vatican objected to parts of the law that would require Catholic schools to organize activities to fight LGBT discrimination on nationally designated days, according to the AP. 

Zan, who sponsored the bill, responded to the Vatican’s argument by saying that the law “does not restrict in any way freedom of expression or religious freedom.”

Gay Party for LGBT+ Rights spokesperson Fabrizio Marrazzo told the AP that the group wants the government to reject the Vatican’s interference with the law, citing that they find it “worrying” that the church is meddling with a law against homophobia. 

The Vatican has stayed quiet on issues regarding LGBT rights, even when the government passed legislation on approving gay unions in 2016, France24 noted. 

The Hill has reached out to the Vatican for comment.

Tags anti-LGBT discrimination Italy The Vatican Vatican City

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