The next Gay Pride in Rome is scheduled for Saturday. But right-wing authorities in the Italian region, which includes the capital, withdrew their sponsorship of the protest, saying it had too much of a political connotation. In a statement, the president of the Lazio region, Francesco Rocca, said the region's name "cannot be, and never will be, used to support actions to promote illegal behavior," including surrogacy.
The theme of Roma Pride 2023 is "QueeResistenza", with activists condemning what they call "multiple attacks" on the LGBT community since Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's right-wing government took office in October.
Francesco Rocca was elected last year with the support of Meloni's coalition, which defends "traditional" family values. The prime minister's far-right Fratelli d'Italia party has proposed passing a law to extend the current ban on surrogacy to Italians who travel abroad to find a surrogate.
"I'll be in the streets for Pride," says Rome's mayor
The $ region believes that the public statements of the Roma Pride organizers, which include calls for the rights of same-sex couples to adopt children or access fertility treatments, as well as for the legalization of surrogacy, "violate the conditions" of possible sponsorship by the region.
Il #RomaPride è una manifestazione importante per la comunità #Lgbt+ e per tutti i cittadini che combattono le discriminazioni e sostengono i diritti. Per questo #Roma Capitale ha assicurato il proprio patrocinio e per questo Sabato sarò in piazza per il #Pride.
— Roberto Gualtieri (@gualtierieurope) June 5, 2023
Rome's left-wing mayor, Roberto Gualtieri, condemned the region's decision and said the city was maintaining its sponsorship of the protest. "Rome Pride is an important event for the LGBTQ+ community and for all citizens who fight against discrimination and support human rights (...) and for that I will be in the streets on Saturday for Pride," he wrote on Twitter.