Conservative congress on family divides Italy

VERONA, Italy — A congress in Italy under the auspices of a U.S. organization that defines family as strictly centring around a mother and father has made Verona — the city of Romeo and Juliet — the backdrop for a culture clash over family values, with a coalition of civic groups mobilizing against what they see as a counter-reform movement to limit LGBT and women’s rights.

The World Congress of Families, which runs through Sunday, has revealed another rift in Italy’s governing coalition, as well as providing a platform for ultra-conservatives seeking to reopen the debate over abortion, legalized in Italy in 1978.

Vice Premier Matteo Salvini, who says the question of legalized abortion is not on the government’s agenda, is a featured speaker at the congress Saturday. But the leader of the other main coalition party, the 5-Star Movement’s Luigi Di Maio, has described the event as “medieval.” Still, Di Maio’s edict against the movement’s participation in the congress was defied by a senator, who spoke on Friday.

Academics and political liberals have come out against the Congress, while a coalition of some 30 civic organizations collected 147,000 signatures to pressure — unsuccessfully — the regions of Veneto and neighbouring Fruili-Venezia Giulia and the city of Verona to withdraw their sponsorship of the event. Facing political pressure, Premier Giuseppe Conte’s office did withdraw its support, and even the Vatican has kept its distance, with secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin saying that “we are agree on the substance, but not on the mode.”

Joseph Grabowski, spokesman for the International Organization for the Family that organizes the congress, said the event is non-denominational and without political affiliations.

“We welcome anyone who shares the just basic values that there is a plan and a beauty and in the design of human sexuality and the complementarity of the sexes and that marriage is a stabilizing force for society,” he said.

Yuri Guaiana, a spokesman for LGBT rights group All Out, said Italy is a natural target for such an organization. He noted that three government ministers are speaking at the event, indicating an affinity for the conservative message, and that the rights for gays and women in Italian society are relatively recent and still fragile.

“Italy is a country that has a very recent history of democracy,” Guaiana said. “Rights like the right to choose for women what to do with their body and the right for same-sex couples to be recognized are very, very recent. So they’re probably trying to pick on Italy because it’s probably the most fragile country in Western Europe.”

Источник: Nationalpost.com

Источник: Corruptioner.life

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