A protest "Kiss" action to follow
Two young gay men were stopped by police in Rome and detained for several hours for the only 'offense' they committed - KISSING in public. This incident caused outrage among rights groups and many ordinary people in Italy. Even government minister expressed her dismay over police actions. This incident clearly shows that having human rights declarations are far from enough to ensure equality. It's outrageous that even in EU member country - Italy, affectionate kiss between two young gay men in public could lead to police detention! How solid and trustworthy could be EU's efforts to ensure equality, tolerance and human rights in other countries if they cannot ensure order in their 'own home'?
ROME (Reuters) - Italian police detained two gay men for kissing outside the Colosseum and accused them of "lewd conduct", sparking howls of protest on Friday from rights groups and calls for an apology from a government minister.
The incident took place late on Thursday, when the men, aged 27 and 28, were taken to a police station for several hours before being released, according to gay rights group Arcigay.
Arcigay accused the police of discrimination and called on homosexuals to gather near the Colosseum on Aug. 2 for a protest "kiss".
Police denied they were homophobic. "It's not an issue of homosexuality, but of legality," said Col. Alessandro Casarsa.
"Faced with an obvious violation of the norms that govern a place visited by thousands of people, the two were written up and let go."
[I wonder how many examples of detention of straight couples for the similar 'offense' - kissing in public, they could provide?]
Italy's Health Minister Livia Turco expressed embarrassment over the episode, saying "things like this certainly don't happen in a normal country".
"I hope that these boys are given an apology because this was a bit excessive," she said.
*source of picture: Arcigay, The Italian Gay Association