AN anti-discrimination bill protecting women and the LGBT+ community has been approved by a lower house of parliament in Italy on Wednesday, November 4.
The bill, approved by 265 votes to 193 in the 630-member chamber, makes violence against women and LGBT+ people a hate crime.
It now needs a final green light from the upper house Senate, where it has the support of the ruling coalition parties, before becoming law, which means that those found guilty of such attacks risk longer prison terms – up to four years.
Alessandro Zan, the openly gay lawmaker who promoted the law, wrote on Twitter: “It is a big step forward against discrimination, hatred and violence.”
Zan has denied that the bill would impinge on free speech, saying it would only punish those who incite hatred, with Italy’s largest LGBT+ rights group, Arcigay, recording more than 100 hate crime and discrimination cases each year.