Anger is rampant in Italy among the LGBT community after Michaela Biancofiore was appointed on Friday as Under-Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities. The woman, known as an active opponent of gay rights and equality in Italy, is seen as a step backwards in Italy for LGBT rights.
“This is shocking and scary,” said LGBT campaigner Lorenzo Gava.
“We have worked so hard to put gay people in a positive light and Italians are responding, but now the government puts a woman into power who is actively against all LGBT equality in a position to determine equality.
“That doesn’t make sense,” he told 429Magazine.
Although Biancofiore is against marriage equality, she has also been a leading opponent of transgender rights, especially when the person does not go through a full gender reassignment surgery.
She is also a key ally of former Italian President Silvio Berlusconi.
This past January, Biancofiore said a series of anti-LGBT statements that stirred a storm of reaction from activists.
“I am of the opinion that gay marriage is absolutely not a priority for Italians,” she said on a YouTube program.
“When someone is born with a different nature, they will not have an easy life. I consider such people equal to me. There is not simply heterosexuality, but also a diverse sexuality that is today very commonplace. Still, I emphasize my no to gay marriage.”
On transgender issues, she is equally outspoken and antagonistic.
She said: “Anyone who goes with a trans has serious problems of sexual identity. I understand trans individuals who undergo surgery, but I see no reason why we should agree to marriage between a man and a man and a man who wants to pretend to be a woman and keep his male member. I would rate them more if they underwent the operation.”
She continued: “These strange mixtures leave me puzzled: either one perceives oneself to be a man or a woman and “Italians are by temperament opposed to gay marriage because we remain a profoundly Catholic people. Having said that, I have the greatest respect for all forms of love.”