Vatican Protest Of Italy Bill Reeks of Homophobia

In an unusual move to get involved in Italy's legislation, the Vatican has just recently protested to Italy's embassy over the 'Zan Bill'​ , named after Democratic legislator Alessandro Zan, intended to combat homophobia. Criminalising discriminatory conduct on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity "would have the effect of negatively impacting the freedoms assured to the Catholic Church,"​ wrote the Vatican Secretariat of State adding that in doing so it violates the Lateran Pacts that establish Vatican City as a sovereign state and provide religious freedoms in its relationship with Italy.
That the bill threatens 'religious freedom'​ to oppose adoptions by gay couples is being specifically protested by the Vatican which refuses to conduct gay marriages or teach gender theory in Catholic schools in Italy.

It may be recalled that the Vatican office that lays down the official line for Roman Catholic educational institutions had released a document in June 2019 that dismissed the scientifically-accepted idea that gender identity is fluid as “nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants.” Calling the current thinking an attempt to “annihilate the concept of ‘nature,’” the Congregation for Catholic Education had insisted that biology decides what is “constitutive of human identity” and called for the reaffirming of “the metaphysical roots of sexual difference.” “Efforts to go beyond the constitutive male-female sexual difference, such as the ideas of ‘intersex’ or ‘transgender,’ lead to a masculinity or femininity that is ambiguous,” read the document.

That, in turn, has resulted in cultural “disorientation” and the destabilisation of the family as an institution. “This oscillation between male and female becomes, at the end of the day, only a ‘provocative’ display against so-called ‘traditional frameworks,’” it said. The 31-page document titled 'Male and female he created them'​ was signed by the Congregation’s leaders, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi and Archbishop Angelo Zani and released, also ironically in June 2019 - the Pride Month.

The Pope Francis flip-flop on the LGBTQ Church inclusion was back in focus earlier this year. Vatican's orthodoxy office, The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in March 2021, issued a formal statement instructing its priests not to offer blessings for same-sex couples. The church's reason being: God cannot bless sin. Much to the shock of LGBTQ Catholics and allies globally, Pope Francis approved the decree.

This came in sharp opposition to the series of his liberal-leaning LGBTQ positive pronouncements made during his papacy. While flying home after a week-long visit to Brazil in 2013, to a question about a possible "gay lobby"​ in the Vatican, Pope Francis said, "When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby...If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?"​ And then, this comes as a betrayal of sorts!

The Vatican move to involve itself in Italy’s legislation, now, has been, and predictably, praised by the far-right party in Italy’s Parliament but flayed by the Democratic party and Human Rights groups. Italy is known to have some of the weakest laws and policies protecting LGBTQ+ rights in Europe and some of the highest instances of violence. Meanwhile, the bill has passed the Parliament’s Lower House and is currently being debated in a Senate committee.

While the world celebrates Pride Month again this June as every year, following the legendary action against gays at the Stonewall Inn in New York. June 28, 1969 that marked the beginning of the Stonewall Uprising, a series of events between police and LGBTQ+ protesters which stretched over six days, Vatican's newest protest arrives, and ironically once again, in Pride Month.

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