Padua, February 20 - Center-right candidate Giorgia Meloni from the Fratelli d'Italia party has distanced herself from a strongly anti-gay political advertisement broadcast on YouTube by two members of the party's local Padua branch. Meloni, who was youth minister in Silvio Berlusconi's last government, said that it was "a vulgar and superficial initiative...that is not part of the culture of the Fratelli d'Italia party". The commercial was a parody of a gay couple who appeared at the music festival Sanremo in preparation for their February 14 wedding in New York. Seated on the stage, the couple told the story of their relationship wordlessly holding up signs, the last of which reading "because I love him" we will be married in New York..."because the law in this country doesn't allow it". In the video, Fratelli d'Italia Senate candidate Raffaele Zanon and House candidate Alberto Romano Pedrina reenact the Sanremo performace, but instead hold up signs reading, "vote with your head," "vote with your heart," "not with your ass," and finally, "we love women, especially Giorgia Meloni". "I asked the creators (of the video) to take it down immediately and to say that they are sorry...We reaffirm our condemnation of any kind of homophobia," Meloni said. Fratelli d'Italia is running with Berlusconi's center-right coalition.
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di Giovanni Pastore