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.

Last week the openly gay Italian Governor said that he would like to have the “right” to get married to his partner in front of his “community and family.”

Speaking on Italian radio, Governor Vendola, said he had lived with his Canadian partner for years, and that he would like to get married to him.

Last week, an anti-gay Italian Catholic blog, which claimed that it was possible to “cure” homosexuality, came back online after down time, from being subject to an attack from hackers.