Rome’s gay quarter hit by homophobic attacks
The gay area of Rome has suffered a number of homophobic attacks in recent weeks, with the latest incident leaving one man injured.
The most recent attack in the Italian capital occurred on Tuesday night, when a couple of firecrackers were thrown at a bar on San Giovanni in Laterano, known as Gay Street.
Although initial reports said these were bombs, police have now said they were firecrackers. Witnesses said four men were seen running from the area.
One man was taken to hospital with a minor injury and a scooter was damaged.
Last week, a lesbian woman was reported to have been threatened by a young man on the same street, while a gay male couple were attacked in a separate incident. One was stabbed and is in a serious condition.
In another incident, nightclub Qube, home of the LGBT Muccassassina festival, was targeted by arsonists but was empty at the time.
Last night, a gathering was due to take place for the LGBT community to show solidarity against the violence.
According to Rome news agency ANSA, the city’s mayor Gianni Alemanno said the attacks were “extremely worrying” and has promised to increase police presence in the area.
Italy’s largest gay rights organisation Arcigay, has called for more legal protections for LGBT people and is asking parliament to urgently expand existing laws. It is currently organising marches to protest for new rights. Italy’s hate crime laws do not mention homophobia, something LGBT groups have been campaigning over for years.