‘We’re living in fear’: LGBT people in Italy pin hopes on new law

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07/25/2020

For 15 years, Marco and his boyfriend had lived together fairly peacefully in a town outside Rome. Then, in early June, a neighbour started harassing them. “It began quite lightly, with him being provocative whenever we met in the street,” the 38-year-old said. “Then he came to our home and forced his way in, calling us ‘dirty faggots’. My boyfriend managed to get rid of him but he returned with a baton and threw himself against the door, repeating the same insults and threatening to set us alight when we were asleep.” The man, who had recently moved into the same building, has incessantly taunted the couple over the past month, threatening to also torch their car. Marco has been recording evidence on his mobile phone, but his pleas to the police for help have so far been ignored. “We’re living in fear,” Marco said, citing the example of a gay friend who was almost killed by his antagonist following repeated harassment. “Twice the police came, and twice they did nothing.”

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