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Italy's Lazio region pulls support from Rome Pride

Rome mayor says city will sponsor Roma Pride.

The right-wing regional administration of the Lazio region around the Italian capital has pulled its sponsorship from this weekend's Roma Pride march over its opposition to surrogacy.

The decision to drop the region's support for Roma Pride was made by Lazio governor Francesco Rocca, who was elected earlier this year after being backed by the right-wing coalition of Italian premier Giorgia Meloni.

In a statement published by Italian media, the Lazio regional government reaffirmed "its commitment to civil rights" but stressed that the region's institutional signature "cannot, nor will it ever be used to support demonstrations aimed at promoting illegal behaviour, with specific reference to the practice of the so-called womb for rent".

Surrogacy is illegal in Italy and a controversial bill presented by government coalition parties to make it a "universal crime" is currently being debated in parliament.

The region's move to drop its patronage of the annual event, being held on Saturday under the banner "QueeResistenza", reportedly followed an appeal from the Italian pro-life and pro-family group Pro Vita e Famiglia, which has welcomed the decision.

The region said it regretted that its patronage, "granted in good faith", had been "exploited", describing the situation as "a missed opportunity to build a mature dialogue free from any ideology... to promote real inclusion and combat all forms of stigma and discrimination."

However the decision has been slammed by opposition parties along with the gay rights association Mario Miele whose president Mario Colamarino is also the Roma Pride spokesperson.

Colamarino claims the region is "exploiting" surrogacy which "concerns 90 per cent heterosexual couples and, as usual, the ultra-right, the Catholic Taliban uses the theme, as a weapon, to attack our community."

Rome's centre-left mayor Roberto Gualtieri on Twitter wrote: "Roma Pride is an important event for the LGBT+ community and for all citizens who fight discrimination and support rights. This is why Roma Capitale has assured its patronage and why I will be in the streets for Pride on Saturday." 

Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
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