PinkNews.co.uk Exclusive

The official announcement of Romano Prodi’s election success in Italy today now means that the gay community can look forward to a possible increase in rights and representation.

Signor Prodi has previously promised a civil partnership law and five LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community members have also been elected to Parliament.

The most high profile celebration will be in the Communist Refoundation Party constituency of Vladimir Luxuria, a former organiser of Italy’s gay pride parades, and now Europe’s first transgender MP.

Born Wladimiro Guadagno, she considers herself neither male nor female but dresses as a woman and prefers to be called a ‘she.’

She promises to work in parliament to establish full legal recognition of gay marriage, but stressed that she is not pushing for adoption rights for gays, such as exist in Spain, because “Italian society isn’t ready to accept it”.

The International Gay and Lesbian Association praised the election of Ms Luxuria, Riccardo Gottardi, co-chair of the ILGA-Europe Board, said: “We are happy to see a transgender person being elected as Italian parliamentarian. This is a very important victory not just for Italy, but for all Europe.

“This is also a sign that the European electorate is becoming more open minded and embracing the diversity of human kind.

We hope the newly elected Italian politicians will fulfil their pre-election promises and will introduce Italy into a family of European nations legally recognising same-sex families as well as introduce further legislation to guarantee equal rights for LGBT people.”