The gay governor of Italy’s Puglia region, Nichi Vendola, has said that he is afraid to go out alone at night in Rome.
In an interview on Tuesday with Il Fatto Quotidiano, Governor Vendola, who is also the leader of the left wing political party, SEL, discussed what he said was a society tolerant of homophobia.
He said: “This climate forces me to limit the spaces of my private life. I am forced to manage every move with caution. If I want to go out alone for a walk in Rome in the evening, I choose not to.”
He went on to criticise what he said was a tolerance of homophobic groups, and acts in Italy. He said: “In Italy the fact that I am insulted by fascists and Nazis from various networks does not even solicit regret”.
Criticising the church, he continued: “Certain ecclesiastic environment even impedes the making of rules to sanction violence” against gays, Ansa reports.
Governor Vendola, who has proven controversial in Italian politics, which is typically conservative, as he is outspoken about gay rights issues, promised on Tuesday to introduce “in the coming days” a law legalising equal marriage.