LGBTI advocacy groups and transfeminist organizations gathered in Verona, Italy, today (30 March) to protest the World Congress of Families.
Organizers estimated that the march reached more than 50,000 people. Many took to the streets of the city in Northern Italy with placards and banners.
The demonstration aims to support the LGBTI community and all women whose rights have been threatened by the WCF.
Now in its 23rd year, the Christian Congress has raised concerns across the country and internationally for its vocal opposition of LGBTI rights and reproductive rights.
A platform to spread discrimination
‘We’re more than 50,000 according to official estimations’ says Mattia Stella, President of Pride Vicenza.
‘It’s impossible to tell where the parade ends.’
He joined many other LGBTI people and allies for the demonstration.
‘I’m here today with thousands of other people to state there’s no such thing as one kind of family. And that gender equality should be a priority for every country claiming to be democratic,’ he told GSN.
‘Events such as the WCF are providing platforms to spread hate and discrimination.’
He furthermore added: ‘We’re not here only for ourselves, but also for the future generations. We hope they won’t have to go through this medieval-like era someone is imposing upon us.’
Anti-LGBTI speakers at World Congress of Families
A three-day convention, the WCF opened its doors on 29 March.
Significantly, the counter-protest took place on the same day where Italy’s far-right Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini is set to speak.
Among this year’s speakers, there are also international figures infamous for opposing LGBTI rights, such as Lucy Akello.
As Shadow Minister for Social Development, Akello supported a law in Uganda mandating the death penalty or life imprisonment for gay people.