The “Zan” bill, on behalf of Democratic Party (PD, center-left) MP Alessandro Zan, aimed to punish acts of discrimination and incitement to violence against gays, lesbians, transgender people, and people with disabilities. It was approved by Parliament last November.
In June, the Vatican filed an official diplomatic note against the law, believing it violated the Concordat, the bilateral treaty between Italy and the Holy See. Among other things, the Vatican was concerned that under the Homophobia Act, Catholics could be prosecuted for expressing opinions in favor of traditional heterosexual family structures.
Critics of the law also believed that it could endanger freedom of expression and that it would have paved the way for homosexual propaganda in schools.
The vote count gave 154 senators who voted in favor, 131 against and two abstentions. The vote was greeted with applause in the room. The fact that the proceedings were secret favored the result against the Zan Act, according to commentators.
“Those responsible for today’s vote in the Senate are those who, for months after it was approved in Parliament, followed the sovereignist sirens that wanted to overthrow the Zan Act. A political pact that wanted the country to take a step towards civilization was betrayed. The responsibilities are clear,” Democrat MP Alessandro Zan wrote on Twitter.
Shortly before the vote, on La7’s “L’aria che tira” show, he said, “If the ‘cut’ is approved, the law is dead. As the Senate vote shows, passing the law seems like an impossible challenge.
The Zan law was rejected by all of Catholic Italy, with a few notable exceptions. Opposition to the law was also voiced by feminists and lesbian associations, who opposed the addition of transgender people to categories protected by law punishing hate crimes based on race and religion.
Matteo Salvini welcomed the result: “The arrogance of Letta [PD secretary. Ed.] And the Five Star Movement was defeated,” he said.
“They said no to all mediation proposals, including those made by the Holy Father, associations, and many families, and they sabotaged Bill Zan. Now we are back on the basis of the League’s proposals,” he added.
This bill, in a new version, will not be able to be presented to the Senate for six months, according to Italian parliamentary rules.
The Italian Senate, in a secret ballot vote, gave its approval to the “cut” proposed by the League and Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia) for the Zan bill: the law that aimed to impose gender ideology across the country has thus been paralyzed.