ROME – Gay rights organizations and other activists are lashing out at Italy’s parliament decision to reject a bill calling for stiffer sentences for those involved in hate crimes against homosexuals and transsexuals.
The parliament’s lower house, dominated by Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s conservatives, rejected the bill last week.
Opponents of the proposed bill maintain that gays must be treated like any other citizen.
Amnesty International said Italy’s parliament “wasted an opportunity.”
Roberto Stocco of the Arcigay association for the rights of homosexuals said that lawmakers feared the bill could open the door to new civil rights laws, including gay marriages.