A protest has taken place in Eyre Square to protest the blocking of an anti-homophobia bill in the Italian Senate.
The protest took place in Eyre Square on November 3rd, and it was the first protest organised by the newly-formed Galway Against Homophobia.
The “DLL Zan Bill” named after Italian MP and member of the far-left Democratic Party Alessandro Zan was blocked in late October by 154 to 131 via a vote by secret ballot.
According to the Bill’s text, it would have provided measures “to prevent and combat discrimination and violence on grounds based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.”
Because of the timing of the vote the Italian parliament will not be able to hold another vote on the bill for six months and it is believed there will not be another vote on approving the bill before the parliament’s term expires in 2023.
With the bill being blocked, Italy remains one of the few European countries without any specific law against homophobia and disability of any kind.
Asia Brodini, a first-year student at NUI Galway and founder of Galway Against Homophobia states that her decision to create the organisation and do the protest was completely sudden.
“The Zan deal was what made me decide to do a protest, because when I heard the news, I was completely heartbroken, and I wanted to do something about it” stated Brodini.
The sudden timing of the protest meant it was not possible to ask local politicians or lecturers to attend meaning Brodini and the friends who helped her organise made their own speeches at the protest.
The protest also had its own organisational profiles through social media such as Instagram or Twitter, but a Tellonym account was also set up, a platform that allows questions submitted anonymously to be answered.
“We wanted to inform everyone about the protest, and anyone who submitted a personal experience with homophobia anonymously through Tellonym, we read it out loud at the protest” explained Brodini.
“I also plan to contact other politicians in Ireland who would be interested or have personal experience with homophobia so that they can speak up about it.”
There are currently no plans for a second protest as of yet but Brodini has stated she is focused on keeping the Galway Against Homophobia social media pages alive and another major event like the blocking of the Zan bill occurs, there will be a protest about it.