Catholic guest house owners reject gay couple because ‘we don’t accept gays and dogs’
The owners of a guest house have come under fire for refusing to host a gay couple.
The B&B bosses, who are devout Catholic, told the two men that “we don’t accept gays and animals”.
Now politicians and locals have criticised the owners for being discriminatory.
The gay couple were left stunned when they were turned away from Ciufo guest house near Vibo Valentia, Italy.
The couple who own the venue insisted that they have nothing against gay people, they simply “believe in traditional marriage.”
Filippo Mondella, owner of the guest house, says he did not mean to offend by inferring that gay people are like animals.
He claims he wrote the email response while driving, and should have included a comma to distinguish his remarks.
Mondella told Radio Capital: “This is important and I don’t want to appear like a troglodyte, but we don’t accept gays and dogs.”
“[The guest house] is not a public structure, it’s a private house.
“We are Catholic, devout Christians […] I have nothing against it, for me they are normal people, but objectively we prefer to keep our faith.”
LGBT groups in Italy, which does not have anti-discriminatory laws, expressed outrage at the B&B’s action.
“It was like getting a silo of ice cold water,” Gennaro Casalino told Arcigay, Italy’s largest gay organisation.
“In my mind I could see the infamous images of Nazi signs outside of shops saying ‘forbidden entry to dogs and Jews’.
“But It has been 70 years since then and this cannot be ignored.”
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Local authorities labelled the incident “a serious case of discrimination and homophobia”.
Giulia Russo, the mayor of Ricadi, said: “We completely distance ourselves from this.
“In Ricadi we are civil and evolved people and such discrimination is not acceptable in 2017.”
Italy is one of the least LGBT-friendly places in the EU.
The country still outlaws same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, access to IVF for lesbians and has no discrimination protections for gay people accesing goods and services.