The law against theomotransphobia and discrimination related to sexual orientation had collected 265 votes in favor and 193 against. However, without a further passage in the Senate, the text cannot be approved.
How much is missing and what does the institutional calendar of the Chambers foresee? Let’s retrace the steps taken and those still necessary for the final approval of the bill.
Why has the Zan bill not yet been approved?
The reasons behind the delay are of an ethical and ideological rather than procedural nature: the CEO Zan, in fact, modifies the articles 604-bis and 604-ter of the Criminal Code in the matter of violence / discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, something that does not find the agreement of the opposition parties.
This is because Lega and Fratelli d’Italia – supported by the Catholic branches – do not consider a law necessary to this against violent and discriminatory acts and manifestations based on sexual and gender identity. According to them, the protection offered by the Mancino law (Law No. 205 of 25 June 1993) which punishes crimes and hate speech based on nationality, ethnicity and religious belief.
From this belief derive a series of obstructive behavior which have ensured that the text of the Zan bill was lost in the bureaucratic maze of parliamentary regulations.
The bill, in fact, has not yet been examined by the Justice Commission, a mandatory and preliminary step to reach the Senate.
On Wednesday 7 April, during the last useful session, Senator Andrea Ostellari (Lega) has some prevented scheduling due to the presence of four other bills on homophobia. “That bill was assigned to the commission last November. Since then, the need to evaluate the connection of the text with the others dealing with the same topic, all pre-existing, had been highlighted “, these are his words to justify yet another slip.
When the Zan bill was presented
The text by Alessandro Zan (PD) brings together several previous projects against homophobia (the Boldrini, Scalfarotto and Bartolozzi bills) and, unlike these, provides for a specific circumstance for discrimination against homosexuals and trans people. In other words, the generic prohibition of discrimination punished by the Mancino law (for reasons “Racial, ethnic or religious”) the well-founded ones are added “On gender and sexual orientation or gender identity”.
The path of the bill began in 2018: it was presented on 2 May 2018 and assigned to the II Justice Commission in its referring office on 7 October 2019.
At first reading in the Chamber, the Zan bill passed the examination in the Commission (concluded on 20 July 2020) and the discussion in the Assembly, where on 4 November 2020 the unified text was approved by a majority of voters.
Only the reading in the Senate is missing, where the text is transmitted more than 5 months ago, got bogged down.
When will there be discussion and approval in the Senate?
At the moment it is difficult to answer this question exactly, but it is certain that we will have to wait until the coming week (19-25 April).
Surely the media mobilization and the pressure of public opinion (also by web and entertainment stars) will influence the scheduling and push towards an adequate discussion. To speed up the approval process, the idea is to start from the text passed in the first reading in the Chamber of Deputies.