Last Saturday, a demostration to support the DDL Zan was held in piazza Castello.
In Italy, a disegno di legge (DDL) is the initial phase of a law that is proposed by one or more members of parliament. The bill contains a set of articles that need to be discussed, one at a time, by the different branches of the parliament and go through various approval steps before becoming an effective law (or not!). While passing laws in Italy can sometimes take an easy path, that’s not the case with those regarding LGBTQI+ rights. In May 2016, Italy recognized same-sex unions, a monumental moment that is considered as the first step in the long road to more civil rights and greater freedom. Since then, however, the country has had five governments, elections and even a pandemic, but progress has mostly stayed at a standstill.
Alessandro Zan (a member of the Partito Democratico, Italy’s major left-wing political party) introduced the DDL extending the Legge Marino (a law passed in 1993), which denounces language and deeds that amount to religious, political and racial discrimination by adding aggravating factors for sexual orientation, gender and gender identity. If approved, those who discriminate against a member of the LGBTQI+ community (along with other categories included in the Marino law) would be punished by up to four years imprisonment or community service. The DDL Zan is an inclusive proposal aimed at protecting all Italian citizens.
The DDL Zan was voted on in the Italian parliament in November 2020, where it gained 265 votes in favor and 193 against. In order to be approved, the text needs further passage in the Senate. But this is where the obstructive behavior of center-right parties comes into play. Political parties Fratelli d’Italia and Lega, heavily supported by the Catholic branches, broadly assert that a law is not really necessary to prevent discriminatory acts based on sexual and gender identity, affirming that the Marino Law—a law passed in 1993, I’d like to underline this again—already offers enough protection. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.) They also state that the DDL penalizes freedom of speech and is offensive due to its introduction of the concept of ‘gender identity’, with the (alleged) aim of canceling male-female gender differences and causing biased propaganda in schools in favor of surrogacy and sexual confusion. This is simply not true. People will always be able to express their opinions, however questionable, but they will be punished if they commit discriminatory actions or behavior.
Anyone interested to know more about DDL Zan and the situation now can refer to the https://www.theflorentine.net/2021/06/07/ddl-zan-italy-why-it-is-necessary/ where I have quoted the article from.
Location : Piazza Castello