Ten Italian MPs have been accused of being “gay hypocrites”.
A US-based blog named the politicians, who include right-wing MPs and members of Silvio Berlusconi’s ruling party, and said they were secretly gay.
According to AFP, the blog’s authors wrote: “We decided to start with these ten names to show clearly how hypocrisy and discrimination rule in the Italian parliament.”
Gay rights groups were divided over the website.
While Equality Italia’s head Aurelio Mancuso said MPs should not be ashamed of being called gay, Paolo Patane of Arcigay said the list gave no evidence of the politicians’ alleged homosexuality or homophobia.
Italy’s parliament recently rejected a bill to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people from discrimination.
The country already bans discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, ethnicity and nationality but campaigners say rising numbers of homophobic and transphobic attacks means LGBT people need more protection.
Italy also bars gay couples from marrying or adopting children.
Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is on record for opposing gay rights, although gay campaigners claim his alleged affairs with minors make him a hypocrite.
Last year, the Italian leader brushed off criticism, saying: “It’s better to be passionate about beautiful women than to be gay.”