Mayor rebukes Vendola's remark on feeling unsafe in Rome

Alemanno says gay president of Puglia 'offends' the city

Mayor rebukes Vendola's remark on feeling unsafe in Rome

Rome, February 5 - Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno on Tuesday said Nichi Vendola, the gay president of Italy's Puglia region, offended Rome when he said that he felt unsafe walking alone at night in the Italian capital. In a statement via Twitter, Alemanno - who hails from Italy's conservative political camp - said "Vendola offends Rome. From the Europride in 2011 to every Gaypride, our city as always guaranteed a welcome and respect for everyone". In an interview Tuesday with Il Fatto Quotidiano, Vendola - who is also the head of left-wing political party SEL - said hostility towards gays made him feel insecure in Rome. "This climate forces me to limit the spaces of my private life. I am forced to manage every move with caution. If I want to go out alone for a walk in Rome in the evening, I choose not to". Vendola criticized what he said was a tolerance of anti-homosexual groups and acts in Italy. "In Italy the fact that I am insulted by fascists and Nazis from various networks isn't even the object of regret". He also criticized the church, saying that a "certain ecclesiastic environment even impedes the making of rules to sanction violence" against gays. Vendola, a controversial figure in Italy's often conservative politics, also promised Tuesday to introduce "in the coming days" a law to legalize gay marriage. Photo: Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno

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