Italian LGBT Advocates Call For Hate Crime Law After Vicious Blinding of 'Effeminate Man'

A vicious attack in which a young man lost an eye after being called “effeminate” highlights Italy's need for hate crime, say activists.

sicilian, attack

Today Gay.It, a popular Italian LGBT news and lifestyle website, has reported on the story of an unnamed 22-year-old who was assaulted in a seemingly random attack in Augusta, Syracuse a Sicilian province, on Saturday, January 20.

According to Gay.It, the victim was socialising in the town’s centre with friends when 23-year-old Mirko Miduri, who was driving by with a friend, exited his vehicle and started verbally abusing the victim – reportedly calling him “effeminate” – before savagely beating the young man.

The Sicilian victim was taken to hospital where, following unsuccessful ophthalmic surgery, he lost his eye.

The alleged attacker was arrested “immediately” on charges of causing serious personal injury.

Italian LGBT activists say this latest attack – one of “many” cases handled by Gay Center a support and advocacy group which runs a national gay help-line – highlights an urgent need for anti-gay hate crime legislation.

“What happened is unfortunately only one of the many cases that every year we collect with our toll-free number, more than 20 thousand cases every year throughout Italy,” said Fabrizio Marrazzo, spokesman for Gay Center and the toll-free Gay Help Line.

“We appeal to the Government because they immediately need concrete actions against homophobia.”

Arcigay, Italy’s foremost LGBT+ rights group, posted a link to the story with the comment that the country “needs a national law against homophobia – right away!”

“We would like to highlight the importance for all political parties to introduce in their manifestos, an anti-homophobia law,” urged Gay Center’s Marrazzo.

“Although the approval of the civil unions law has changed society, there is still a need for action to combat homophobia and support victims.”

A report published by Rainbow Europe last year, revealed that Italy is one of the worst countries in Western Europe in terms of gay rights – ranking 32nd out of 49 countries.

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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