Italy has been divided by debate over the country’s first law that would punish discrimination and hate crimes against LGBT+ people. The proposed legislation would bring Italy in line with its western European counterparts by explicitly recognising discrimination against LGBT+ people as well as women. As lawmakers begin debating the draft in parliament on Monday (July 27), the bill is already being virulently opposed by far-right parties and religious groups. On July 16 politicians from the right-wing populist Lega party joined hundreds of Catholics protesting at Rome’s Piazza Montecitorio, insisting that the bill was a threat to their freedom of speech. They carried banners with the slogan “Establishing a new crime is not needed and is wrong”, but countless LGBT+ Italians beg to differ.