A Catholic political group in Italy, calling themselves the Militia Christi, are calling for a boycott of a new gay-themed film.

The film, Good As You, directed by Mariano Lamberti, has been described by the group as a “vulgar representation of homosexuality, with which the author wants to equalise the union between two men to that between a man and a woman.” [sic]

Good As You will be released in 60 Italian cinemas today and Militia Christi has sent letters to the owners of the cinemas screening the film, and also to its star, Lorenzo Balducci.

Protests over the film’s release have erupted across Italy, including at a preview screening in Palermo, Sicily, earlier this week. The film is a comedy, and features four stories of gay and lesbian couples struggling with everyday life.

The Catholic Church in Italy has a long history of opposing LGBT rights and have been vocal in their opposition to gay people getting married. Nor does the country have a strong history of LGBT-friendly films, despite producing gay filmmakers of the calibre of Luchino Visconti and Pier Paulo Pasolini.

One of the most recent high-profile directors to make films about LGBT life in Italy is Ferzan Ozpetek, a Rome-based Turkish artist who directed Hamam and His Secret Life. In the past, other LGBT films to come out of Italy included La Fuga in 1966, Teorema in 1968 and Fellini’s Satyricon in 1969.