Sparking outrage among gay rights groups, Italy's newest minister of Equal Opportunities, Mara Carfagna, told the press that she thinks it unnecessary to grant sponsorship for the annual Gay Pride festivals held in major cities during the month of June.
‘Sponsorship for Gay Pride? I am not inclined to grant it. Gay Pride festivals are not necessary...[these events] have goals which I do not share. I am ready to deal with issues of discrimination and violence. I am ready to give sponsorship to seminars and conferences that deal with these issues', Carfagna told the press.
Without ministerial support for the annual parade, Gay Pride organizers are hoping for local sponsorship to help fund the upcoming parades in Rome and Milan on June 7, as well as the national Gay Pride parade, scheduled for Bologna on June 28.
Although Carfagna was invited to the five Gay Pride parades organized across Italy, she will not be attending any of them.
However, she is ready to take action against acts of discrimination and violence against homosexuals, she says. ‘I am ready to urge our Italian ambassador to the United Nations to become the spokesman for a request to universally decriminalize homosexuality', she added.