The Italian Senate's rejection of a bill meant to protect gays from hate crimes is a step backward for human rights, the U.N.'s top human rights official said.
''Gays and lesbians deserve full protection under the law,'' said Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, adding that governments should take additional steps ''to protect (gays) from violence and discrimination.''
The bill would have increased penalties for acts of violence motivated by homophobia, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. The Senate rejected the measure, saying it would violate the Italian constitution by giving unequal protection to gays.
Aurelio Mancuso, head of the gay-rights group Arcigay, called the vote "a shameful display which humiliates the dignity of homosexuals." Read complete article - Times of the Internet - United Press International