An Italian politician has reportedly said he would throw his son into a furnace and burn him alive if he was gay.
Giovanni De Paoli – a regional councillor in Liguria – is accused of making the shocking statement during a meeting on health and safety
It is claimed he made the comments in front of Agedo – a group of parents who have LGBT children.
The head of the group claims the councillor said: “If my son was gay, I would throw him in a furnace and burn him.”
Giovanni Vianello told ANSA: “It made my blood run cold…It gave me goosebumps and made me think of Nazi concentration camps.
De Paoli is a member of the National Front party – an openly anti-gay party opposed to civil unions.
However, the politician yesterday denied the allegations, saying “it is a big fuss about nothing.”
“As often what happens when one speaks of the Italian right, I am a victim of prejudice,” he told Il Secolo XIX
“I never said the phrase that I was erroneously attributed by the press, which was not present at the event in question.
“My sentence was exactly the opposite, specifically: ‘If my son was gay, I would NOT throw him in a furnace and burn him,'” he claimed.
Last month, thousands opponents of gay equality rallied in Rome, in opposition to proposals to allow same-sex unions.
Matteo Renzi’s government pushed forward with a civil unions bill earlier this year, after the European Court of Human Rights upheld complaints of discrimination by same-sex couples at the lack of legal recognition in Italy.
However, the bill has stirred up resentment between the LGBT community and the country’s powerful anti-gay Catholic lobbying groups.