17-year-old Italian Davide Trancredi doesn’t want to take his own life.
He recently had a letter published in La Repubblica, one of Italy’s main left-leaning newspapers, in which he wrote a desperate plea for tolerance because, as a gay kid, he feels like suicide may soon be his only option to end the social stigma he endures.
He reportedly wrote:
I am gay, I am 17-years old and this letter is my last alternative to suicide in a troglodyte society; in a world that does not accept me even though I’m born that way.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to be born heterosexual. If there was a little less discrimination and a little more sympathy or Christian charity, people would stop hating.
Laura Boldrini, the Italian House Speaker, read Trancredi’s article and swiftly issued an open letter in which she stressed how much she wanted to help:
I have a daughter not much older than you, and I’m deeply disturbed by your cry for help. [...]
A country that considers itself civilised cannot afford to live without a law against “homophobia,” an evil that drives many young people to take their own lives.
She went on to invite Davide Trancredi to visit her in the legislative chamber to discuss gay rights issues.
Boldrini, despite her position requiring a neutral stance, has angered the Italian right-wing by making several statements on so-called social issues.
For instance, on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in May, she gave a speech condemning what she perceives as macho culture reducing “women to objects and homosexuals to caricatures.”
Italy currently lags behind many European countries in terms of its LGBT rights laws.
While Italy does have gay-inclusive workplace protection provisions and allows gay people to serve in the military, Italian law has been very slow to go beyond these provisions.
Currently, Italy does not enumerate LGBTs for hate crime tracking. It also makes very little provisions for recognizing same-sex couples, meaning that same-sex couples have no way to share rights to property, social security and inheritance.
They also cannot jointly adopt or adopt each other’s children via second parent adoptions.
In 2010, the Constitutional Court (Corte Costituzionale) issued a landmark ruling that recognized same sex couples have a “legitimate social formation, similar to and deserving homogeneous treatment as marriage.”
This indicated that same-sex partner recognition should be legalized. So far no real action has been taken. However, it appears that David Tancredi’s story may spawn change.
A member of Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative People of Freedom Party (PDL) has said he will introduce legislation to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships, the Independent reports.
While marriage will not be part of the bill PDL senator Galan, who was reportedly “moved by the words of David Tancredi,” has predicted wide support for the bill and that, in time, a move toward marriage equality would be possible.
Galan has also issued a challenge to the Vatican, whose influence has been credited as the main force opposing gay rights in Italy, that it should not concern itself with matters of politics like these because they do not affect religious freedoms.
Image credit: Thinkstock.