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The times, they are a' changin'. Sesto San Giovanni, a town on the outskirts of Milan known as "the Italian Stalingrad" owing to the strong presence of the Italian Communist Party (which resulted in their decades-long loyalty to left-wing parties), just underwent a political seismic shift: The European Left has made life so unbearable that a historically proletarian city, one that has exclusively elected
left-wing mayors since the end of World War II, in June elected a center-right party for the first time in 72 years.
One of the first political actions of new mayor Roberto di Stefano was to leave
(National Network of Public Administration Offices against Discrimination for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) and join the Network of Family-Friendly Cities
, a bold statement in a political environment where the LGBT agenda is relentlessly forced on citizens.
Gianpaolo Caponi, Sesto San Giovanni's vice mayor, commented
, "This is an extremely important move, because we consider it a priority to affirm that the family is the natural and fundamental core of society."
"The family must be placed in the center," he continued, "with an active role as a sound resource for the common good, and we must recognize its role as generator of welfare, not as a mere consumer of social services."
To withdraw from RE.A.DY as a political stand looks like a promising trend. The first city
to get out of the network was Arezzo, in 2015. When questioned
by LGBT website Gay.it
, Mayor Alessandro Ghinelli timidly responded that "we haven't decided to leave, we've only suspended our membership."
Next on the list was Trieste
, in 2016, in a much more forthright manner, with the new administration refusing to celebrate homosexual civil unions and also bringing crucifixes back into city hall.
"It was necessary to take a stand," Trieste's vice-mayor Pierpaolo Roberti stated
at the time. "The previous administration thought the family was a thing to be destroyed. We want the family back in the center. The family is only one: that formed by a man, a woman and their children."
La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana praised
their courage, "as it'd be enough to simply let their membership expire, and Trieste'd be out ... without controversy. ... [L]eaving RE.A.DY should be a clear and symbolic political act, done in broad daylight, as it was, in the end."
And this year, just a few days before Sesto San Giovanni's surprising move, the city of Piacenza announced
it would also be leaving the LGBT network. Massimo Polledri, the city's counselor for Family Policies, argued
that "RE.A.DY is this huge, useless wagon we're dragging around that is good for nothing. ... Besides, on the educational level, there has been strong objection to their projects ... one of them which imposed models of sexual education to small children that weren't respectful of the parents' authority and of children's sensibility."
Edoardo Pivoni, from Piacenza's Arcigay (Italy's largest LGBT association) declared
that Polledri said the network is useless because "RE.A.DY is simply, for now, something symbolic, a way of exchanging information between cities ... but it is a necessary mobilization in a country where there's no law against homophobia."
For a body that was instituted in 2006, "something symbolic" is certainly not an acceptable outcome after 11 years of leeching on public funds. Any other administrative office would be under investigation for this disreputable conduct. In fact, many city counselors have declared they have no idea what purpose RE.A.DY serves, and this lazy (or shady?) management of affairs is reflected on their barely updated website, where the leaflet explaining their work
seems like the drawing of a child barely acquainted with Paintbrush, and their list
of member cities still displays those who've already left. They found the time to publicly call each of the mayors "racist homophobes" but not to cross the cities' names off their official list.
In all fairness, RE.A.DY is not completely symbolic. Other than promoting
questionable sex education in schools, they've also partnered with UNAR
(Italy's National Office against Racial Discrimination) on several projects
. Earlier this year, television programme Le Iene
aired an episode
revealing that one of the associations funded by UNAR was hosting
and making profits off of an illegal
ring of homosexual male prostitution.
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