The city of Cagliari has voted down the Declaration on Sexual Discrimination. The left minority of the local government had proposed to adopt this ethics document. But the right-wing majority shut it down. But not many were surprised.
There was a boycott
That’s what the counselor Marzia Cilloccu said. “We knew this result was coming, given the attempt of boycott of the past few months and since we made the proposal for the Cagliari LGBT community on September 2020.”
Politicians, the community, and experts prepared for this ending. Despite this, the disappointment was palpable. In fact, the opposition didn’t just vote down the Declaration and its adoption. Politicians also talked of a “gay lobby.” Indeed, an insistent and all-powerful lobby tried to fight against sexual discrimination. And Cagliari’s mayor seemed to agree with this view. Other municipalities in Sardegna have adopted the Declaration (places such as Pula and Quartu S. Elena). On the other hand, Cagliari felt pressure from the Cagliari LGBT lobby. Although its existence is alleged.
Between boycotts and secret groups, the proposal didn’t pass. While its acceptance didn’t mean changing the situation overnight, it would have been a step forward. So, what is this ethics document?
The Declaration on Sexual Discrimination, explained
The creators of this document are linguist Massimo Arcangeli and the vice-president of Naples’ Arcigay, Antonello Sannino. They launched this proposal in 2019 with the goal of ending discrimination based on sexual preferences. Instead of addressing the Italian government, the two experts addressed the local realities. They went small, to hopefully go big.
Specifically, Arcangeli and Sannino designed the Declaration for the municipalities, the tourism industry, and the public offices. Anyone who signs it commits to fight any type of gender and sexual discrimination. The ethics document includes four points, meant to focus the efforts. Once again, looking at the small detail to change the bigger picture.
The four points are:
- respecting all gender differences
- protecting people’s dignity, no matter their sexual preference and their gender identity
- supporting the conversation on sexual discrimination
- promote and apply the Declaration’s contents
Hence, this is a proposal of intent. And it’s the intent of being fair and unbiased. Simply, against homophobia. However, opponents call it “politically correct.”
Sardegna and Cagliari LGBT: the situation
Does the local community need this Declaration? It just might, depending on where someone lives. For example, the city of Pula signed the proposal and its goal is to become a destination for gay weddings. On the other hand, plastic surgeon Giacomo Urtis (34) had a different experience growing up in Alghero, as he explained during Big Brother VIP.
“When I graduated, I was even engaged with a woman. I knew I was gay but I didn’t talk about it to anyone. Alghero only had 30,000 people and small towns aren’t very inclusive. I had convinced myself I had to be straight.”
Urtis remembers his mother turning off the TV anytime a gay character appeared. This, in the silence of the father. Finally, he told them. “She accepted did but he never did.” What can change this situations? Perhaps better politics.
Kissing for the election
Traditional Sardinian clothes, a gay couple, and a message: proud of our traditions, proud of our diversity. During the 2020 electoral campaign, the party of the Young Democrats of Nuoro filled the city with LGBT posters.
The candidates believed that homophobia was a citizens’ problem, not just a political one. Laws aren’t enough. Society needs a radical change. And it starts one step at a time, to make sure discrimination is eradicated. In all its forms and shapes, to avoid any type of homophobic aggressions.