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Top Italian official blasts Ikea over gay advert

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Top Italian official blasts Ikea over gay advert
09:27 CEST+02:00
A top Italian official on Saturday called an Ikea advertisement with two gay men holding hands "in bad taste", invoking the ire of opposition parties and rights groups.

 

"I find it serious and in bad taste that a Swedish multinational comes to

Italy to tell Italians what they should think," Secretary of State for family

policy Carlo Giovanardi said in a television interview.

The Swedish furniture giant's advertisement shows two men with a shopping

bag, holding hands, and the words: "We are open to all families".

"I think that many clients of Ikea will not find this pleasant," said

Giovanardi.

While Ikea was free to address itself to whom it pleases, the term family

as used in the advertisement "is in direct opposition to our constitution

which says that family is founded on a marriage", he added.

Gay rights activist Aurelio Mancuso said Giovanardi's statements were

"dangerous and aggressive and risk fueling the climate of homophobia that

drives violence and insults against gays, lesbians and transsexuals."

Lawmaker and gay activist Franco Grillini pointed out that: "in the rest of

Europe, they have adopted laws that recognize all forms of family", while

fellow MP Ignazio Marino mocked Giovanardi for "launching a crusade against an advertisement".

Italy does not recognize homosexual marriage or civil union, and has no law

against homophobia.

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