Lesbian couple abused on university campus for getting engaged
A lesbian couple engaged to be married have spoken out about receiving abuse on the campus of their university.
The women, known as 27-year-old “GB” and 21-year-old “LS” said they had been mocked by other students because of their sexuality.
The pair, who are both students at the University of Padua in northern Italy, said they had also received abuse from friends.
They’ve also received comments from other students in group chats.
“When they came to tell us that our displays of affection were too much, we laughed, then it got worse and we realised that this was an attack on us because we are lesbians,” the pair told local media.
The women spoke at a press conference marking the launch of Padua Pride in June, which this year will focus on women and feminism.
Italy has seen a rise in homophobia and violence against the LGBT community in recent years.
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In 2018, the Italian government blocked the distribution of a survey aimed at researching homophobia, racism and sexism among young people after it was criticised for “promoting sexual fluidity.”
The survey, by the University of Perugia, was meant to poll teenagers studying in the region of Umbria on a range of topics related to gay rights, although it made no mention of transgender issues.
Earlier this year, a man in Turin was beaten by 12 attackers who told him: “You “f**king faggot, we’ll kill you.”
Leonardo Ranieri, 53, was admitted to the local Molinette hospital with multiple lesions, bruises and a fractured septum after the attack in January.
Last year, authorities in Rome freed a 17-year-old girl who had been locked up by her family after coming out as a lesbian.
Italy’s LGBT+ umbrella organisation Gay Center, based in Rome, says it receives around 20,000 reports of homophobia and transphobia to its hotline every year, an average of 54 a day.