ThinkProgress.org reports that the mayor of Italian municipality Borgosesia is seeking to ban same-sex couples from kissing in public.
The mayor, Gianluca Buonanno, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica: “Kissing in public between homosexuals? No thanks. I don’t like two people of the same sex making public displays of affection. It’s a question of respect. And I’m convinced that it’s also morally harmful for children.”
Couples could be fined up to 500 euros ($680 USD) for kissing under the proposed measure.
European Parliament member Daniele Viotti, among other officials, have dismissed the mayor’s effort. “[The] new decree is just the latest, pathetic publicity stunt by a narrow-minded man who desperately wants to be in the spotlight,” Viotti told Pink News. “[He’s giving] a voice to all the worst values that, unfortunately, are still circulating in Europe. It would be an interesting psychological exercise to ask why Mr. Buonanno is so obsessed with homosexuality.”
According to Huffington Post, the mayor has a reputation for odd stunts, such as telling La Repubblica he wants to hang a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin, notorious for his anti-gay policies, in his office. Buonanno was also expelled from Parliament earlier this year for waving a sea bass around while in session. He cited the move as a form of protest against a bill that would decriminalize undocumented immigration
Though Italy has a history of anti-LGBT officials, support for civil unions for same-sex couples is high in Italy. BTL spoke with a gay Italian exchange student earlier this year on the acceptance of LGBT people in the country.
Though the country’s government does not currently recognize the legitimacy of same-sex civil unions, the Italian Senate is expected to debate the issue in Sept.