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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 28, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 35
Venice mayor wants to ban Pride: 'Let them go do it in Milan,' he says
Section One
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Venice mayor wants to ban Pride: 'Let them go do it in Milan,' he says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro wants to ban Pride celebrations in the iconic Italian city.

'There will be no Gay Pride in my Venice,' Brugnaro told La Repubblica newspaper. 'Let them go and do it in Milan, or under their own windows.'

Brugnaro, a right-wing businessman in the Silvio Berlusconi mold, was elected mayor of Venice in June. Veneto, the region that includes Venice, has a Pride Parade every year. It was last in Venice in 2014 and is scheduled to return there in 2016 after being hosted by Verona this year.

'Venice is not his city,' Flavio Romani, President of the Italian LGBT rights group Arcigay, told Reuters.

'At the moment he is governing it, but he won't last long given the fool he is making of himself. He is becoming obsessive about this. Venice does not deserve it.'

Brugnaro has already offended his city's LGBT community by ordering books depicting Lesbian and Gay families off the shelves of local school libraries.

Fabrizio Marrazzo, spokesman for another LGBT group, Gay Center, accused Brugnaro of trying to turn Venice into an 'off limits' city for Lesbians and Gays.

'We have to respond. We cannot accept such blatant discrimination,' he told AFP.

Elton John has already denounced Brugnaro as a 'bigot,' while Italian LGBT activists vowed to hold a 2016 Pride Parade in Venice whether he likes it or not.

'We will be back next year and we invite the mayor to march at the head of the parade with us. That way he will see what a Gay Pride really is,' Romani said.

Marrazzo urged the LGBT community to hold a national Pride celebration in Venice next year, headed by Elton John.

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