Activists in Italy have hailed a vote in the lower house of parliament to pass a bill that would make violence against LGBT people and disabled people, as well as misogyny, a hate crime. The bill, which passed successfully despite months of protests from far-right and Catholic groups, now needs approval from the upper house, where it is backed by the ruling coalition parties, before becoming law. “If we succeed in definitively approving this law, Italy will finally be a country that accepts LGBT rights, because right now we are among the last countries in Europe for the social acceptance of LGBT people,” said Alessandro Zan, the Democratic party politician who drafted the law. “Moreover, it also criminalises hate against disabled people and misogyny, so it’s a very advanced law.” Zan expects the law, which would see people convicted of such crimes jailed for up to four years, to be enforced before next spring. The law would be an extension of an existing law that punishes racist violence, hatred and discrimination.