(by Isabella Pezzolini)
Hate crimes include all acts of violence perpetrated against people based on ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or physical disability. Discrimination becomes the reason of the crime.
In Italy, on May 2nd 2018, the deputy and LGBT activist Alessandro Zan presented a law “Ddl Zan” aimed at combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and provides for specific aggravating circumstances for hate crimes against homosexuals, transsexuals, women and disabled people.
This law has immediately sparked criticism from the fascist movement Casa Pound, but instead was supported by the anti-fascist association ANPI.
Casa Pound states that the Ddl Zan is unconstitutional because it defines it as a law that would limit freedom of expression and could legitimize paedophilia. For this reason, CasaPound organized demonstrations throughout Italy against this law.
The fascist movement believes that the Italian LGBTQ + associations that support this Ddl Zan are not representative of Italian society but are only interest groups and that their only obvious goal is to silence any opposition voice.
Instead, the ANPI proposes propaganda in support of the Zan law and it participates in the Pride Month events in Italy.
According to this anti-fascist association, this law is essential for reasons of rights, but also to counter the violent discrimination present in Italy and episodes of physical aggression.
It therefore stands in contrast to the intervention of the Vatican which would like to propose a change to this law and condemns the anti-LGBTQ law approved in Hungary.
In conclusion, it is very interesting to note how fascist propaganda is used to promote hate crimes by justifying them as “freedom of expression” and by accusing anti-fascists of silencing all forms of opposition, while anti-fascist propaganda tries to counter hate crimes and defend rights of all human beings believing that discrimination cannot be defined as freedom of expression.