According to the Corriere della Sera, the Vatican has delivered a protest to Italy’s embassy against a bill aimed at combating homophobia.
The “Zan Bill,” named after Democratic legislator Alessandro Zan, is a response to escalating homophobic crime that would make discrimination based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity illegal.
The Vatican’s fear that gender theory, which calls for equal acceptance of nonbinary and transgender people as members of the family, will be incompatible with Catholic teachings is one of the main reasons for opposition.
Such criminalization, according to the Vatican Secretariat of State, “would have the effect of negatively impacting the freedoms assured to the Catholic Church,” and thus violates the Lateran Pacts, which establish Vatican City as a sovereign state and provide religious freedoms in its relationship with Italy.
The Vatican, in particular, objects to the bill because it threatens its religious freedom to reject gay adoptions, refuse to execute gay marriages, and teach gender theory in Catholic schools in Italy.
The bill’s anti-discrimination goals, according to Roman Bishops, cannot seek that purpose via intolerance and by doubting the reality of the distinction between men and women.
Legal protections for gender and sexual expressions, according to Vatican officials, are a reflection of “ideological colonization.”
The far-right party in Italy’s Parliament has praised the Vatican’s unusual decision to intervene in Italian legislation, while the Democratic Party and human rights groups have criticized it.
The bill aims to make hate speech against LGBTQ+ individuals a crime and to make those who conduct violence for homophobic or sexist grounds face harsher punishments. The bill is now being discussed in a Senate committee.
According to Rainbow Europe, Italy has some of Europe’s weakest LGBTQ+ protection laws and policies, as well as some of the highest rates of violence.