After getting in a public fight with Elton John over same-sex books in schools, Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro has announced that he never wants to see a gay pride parade in his city.
“There will never be a gay pride in my city,” he said. “Let them go and do it in Milan or in front of their own homes.”
A month after elected, Brugnaro banned over 50 books featuring same-sex couples from schools.
“He’s stupidly chosen to [politicize] children’s books by banning titles that touch on same-sex families living happily ever after,” John posted on his Instagram Saturday along with a picture of Todd Parr’s The Family Book which shows different kinds of families. “Beautiful Venice is indeed sinking, but to as fast as the boorishly bigoted Brugnaro.”
Brugnaro said that inclusive books are banned because he had to “think about the majority of families where there is a mother and father.”
Brugnaro wrote on Twitter, “In Venice, we definitely won’t risk creating sexual confusion for those under three. We respect children’s growth…Absolute respect for the choices of homosexuals…the children have nothing to do with it.”
Protests followed the book ban, with campaigners carrying out a read-in of the banned books and over 250 authors asking the mayor to remove their books as well in an act of solidarity.
Italy is the only major western European country that doesn’t recognize gay marriage or civil partnerships.
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