GENOA: Activists in northern Italy have called on the local media in the region to stop attacking a 27-year-old mayoral candidate in Solesino, Padova, after he lashed out at the press for continuing to make a deal of him being gay.
“I think this is really frustrating for all of us in Italy because it shows that we still have a long way before this bigotry stops,” Vicenzo, a 24-year-old graduate student in Genoa told 429Magazine.
“He is a good man and people should not view him as gay but as a person who either can or cannot be a leader,” he added.
Matteo Pegoraro, running with the Solesino In Movimento, said that “too many newspapers are labeling me as the ‘gay candidate’ and this is not right.”
In recent weeks, activists said that numerous newspapers had continued to spark fury among the LGBT community for referring to Pegoraro almost exclusively as the “gay” candidate.
But Pegoraro has fought back, saying that “a politician is a good one when he is honest, when he says no to the mafia and to the worst practices in politics; when he tries to give dignity to the people.”
“You cannot rule a little town just because you are gay or straight, white or black, tall or short,” he added.
The candidate is no stranger to speaking his mind. Earlier this year, he spoke out against an anti-LGBT video that had been published on YouTube by two other politicians, urging voters to not cast a ballot for Pegoraro and their “ass.”
The vote will take place in May and Pegoraro and activists hope that his sexuality will not be an issue.
“It is important for Italy that this not become frustrating and too blatant,” added Vicenzo.