Outrage is growing after authorities in Italy, citing European-level decrees, brazenly threatened journalists who refuse to promote the homosexual agenda, ordering reporters and the news media to submit to the radical new “gay” mandates or face serious sanctions — and possibly even jail time. The deeply controversial move has already sparked fierce opposition among lawmakers and religious organizations, leading at least one member of the Italian Parliament to lambaste the mandatory pro-LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) scheme as part of a new form of “dictatorship.” Fascism has been mentioned more than a few times by critics, too. The outcry continues to grow across Italy; though in the United States, it appears that only LifeSiteNews.com has reported on the controversy so far.
The official mandates for journalists came down in a document dubbed “Guidelines for Information Respectful of LGBT People.” Produced by the National Office for Racial Anti-Discrimination at Italy’s “Ministry of Equal Opportunities” in collaboration with homosexual lobbying groups, the so-called guidelines warn members of the news media that they must portray a false image of total societal acceptance for the homosexual agenda. Despite the nation’s relatively strong Catholic traditions, for example, the ongoing “LGBT” debate is supposed to be essentially banished from the press completely. Instead, the only views allowed will be those of what critics call the “international homosexual lobby.” Countless mandates and prohibitions are included in the scheme, even though Italy does not legally recognize any sort of homosexual relationship — not to mention gay marriage.
For journalists and media outlets that defy the radical decrees, the document warns that formal complaints can be filed with the Italian professional standards office. According to news reports, such referrals can result in major penalties, including job losses, under heavy-handed regulations and licensing schemes governing the industry. Even more alarming, according to analysts and critics of the measure, are warnings in the “guidelines” suggesting that when proposed “hate-speech” legislation eventually becomes law, jail sentences may be handed out to thought criminals who express themselves publicly. In some European countries, even pastors who criticize homosexual activity based on Scripture are jailed. The decrees for journalists also explicitly claim that homosexuality is not a sin, contradicting the teachings of the Bible and the Catholic Church, to which some 90 percent of Italians belong.
Citing “recommendations” from transnational European bodies, which are working fiendishly to smash national sovereignty and enforce radical agendas across the region, the Italian government document claims that the censorship is aimed at ending “discrimination” based on “sexual orientation” or so-called “gender identity.” The paper also notes that member governments are called upon by supranational regimes to “take all appropriate measures to combat any form of expression, in particular in the media and on the nternet, that can be reasonably understood as an element likely to foment or promote hatred or other forms of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. This 'hate speech' should be prohibited and condemned publicly under any circumstances.”
The European Union, of course, has come under immense criticism in recent years for its extreme social engineering efforts aimed at imposing radical agendas on the peoples of the bloc. Last year, for example, a measure declaring taxpayer-funded abortion and mandatory sexual education for children to be “human rights” was barely defeated in the European so-called Parliament — twice. The scheme would have recommended World Health Organization “guidelines” calling for children aged zero to four to be taught about masturbation and exploring “gender identities,” while four- to six-year-olds would learn about homosexuality. The year before, the EU came under fire for showering taxpayer funds on radical homosexual lobbying groups — including some with a history of promoting pedophilia.
Among the draconian restrictions on speech in Italy highlighted in the press so far, journalists are supposed to refrain from saying or even implying that homosexuality could be a choice or preference. Instead, despite an ongoing debate among scientists, the media must use the term “sexual orientation” to indicate that homosexuality is inherent to the person. Also verboten: any suggestion that therapy or other measures can change an individual’s homosexuality. Of course, countless former homosexuals have praised various forms of therapy that they say can help — even in the face of extreme abuse and hatefulness displayed by those who disagree. Also addressed in the new mandates are the types of photos and illustrations that must be used when covering homosexuality-related stories.
When it comes to family life, marriage, adoption, and homosexuality, the document contains a broad range of mandates and faux-pas orders for journalists in the drive to radically alter public opinion. Experts say the goal is to pave the way for eventually redefining marriage in Italy using government force by banning public opposition. Use of the terms “gay family” or “homosexual family,” for example, are to be avoided, LifeSiteNews.com’s Hilary White reported from Rome. Separately, the “guidelines” purport to prohibit the utterance of any distinction between traditional marriage — a man and a woman — versus relationships between homosexuals of the same sex.
Incredibly, the official orders go on to turn thousands of years of human civilization and development upside down. “Marriage does not exist in nature, while homosexuality exists in nature,” the document claims, adding that any mention of “tradition, nature and procreation” represents a “sure sign of homophobia.” Any discussion on whether homosexual adoption of children is questionable or different — presumably even presenting scientific arguments and studies showing that children do best with a mother and father — is also forbidden.
Criticism of the effort to banish the views of most Italians from the public sphere, however, is escalating quickly, according to news reports. In Parliament, more than 20 lawmakers have already joined forces to stop what they said was an attempt to force the media industry to serve the homosexual agenda. Parliamentarian Alessandro Pagano, for example, called the restrictions and mandates on journalists a “gag order,” as well as a deliberate effort by ideologues to suppress freedom of information and expression. The so-called guidelines presage “the new forms of dictatorship of the twenty-first century,” he told LifeSiteNews.com, drawing comparisons with Italy’s fascist-era history of attacks on journalism.
He also noted that the purpose of the scheme is to impose “the LGBT ideology on public opinion through a ‘domesticated’ media” by a “working group composed exclusively of 29 gay and lesbian associations.” Pagano and other lawmakers recently signed a document asking the Italian legislature to address the conflicts between the mandate and freedom of speech and religion. Several have also publicly wondered whether the prime minister is actually aware of what his lower-level minions at the “Ministry of Equal Opportunity” are doing.
Like in the United States, free speech, press, and religion are all guaranteed under the Italian Constitution. However, across the West, traditions and guarantees of liberty are increasingly coming under fire from militant homosexual activists. Often funded by governments or billionaire members of the establishment such as George Soros, the “LGBT” lobby has become more and more brazen in its extreme demands to curtail freedom under the guise of banning “hate.” In the face of opposition from Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and even many liberty-minded homosexuals, however, it has become clear that the only way to quickly achieve the goals of radical LGBT-agenda proponents is co-opting education and the press, and the coercive power of the state.
Indeed, that is exactly what is happening. Across much of Europe, unapproved speech has become a crime punishable by prison. Even churches and religious institutions are increasingly being coerced into celebrating homosexuality and homosexual marriage. In the United States, analysts also point to ominous signs of similar trends, such as the use of government in many states to terrorize business owners into violating their religious beliefs. Considering the spectacular backfiring of recent homosexual campaigns against Chick-fil-A and Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, though, supporters of liberty and traditional values remain hopeful that the criminalization of speech and even thought can still be defeated.
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at