Iconic Italian fashion designer Donatella Versace has sharply condemned attempts by Italy’s far-right government to limit the rights of same-sex couples, with her words falling during a speech at the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards in the midst of Milan Fashion Week.
What are Italy’s recent Anti-LGBTQ policies?
The new Italian government, led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, has passed several new laws, including policies ordering municipalities to stop registering most children with same-sex parents and extending a national ban on surrogacy for homosexual couples and thereby rendering it illegal to travel abroad for the procedure, punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to one million euro ($1.06 million).
What did Donatella Versace say about Italy’s Anti-LGBTQ laws at the Milan Fashion Week?
“Our government is trying to take away people’s rights to live as they wish, they are restricting our freedoms,” said the successful businesswoman and designer in her speech at the Milan Fashion Week. “The freedom to walk down the street with our heads held high and without fear, regardless of identity. The freedom to build a family and live as one wishes. The freedom to love whom one wishes. We all have to fight for freedom. At a time when transgender people still suffer terrible violence, at a time when children of same-sex couples are not considered their children, at a time when minority voices are being attacked by new laws. At this time, we still have a lot to do.”
Versace was accompanied on stage by Alessandro Zan, an Italian left-wing politician and LGBTQ+ campaigner. Versace accepted the Humanitarian Award for Equity and Inclusivity from Italian music star Marco Mengoni, who dubbed her “a gay icon,” leading the designer to speak about her brother Gianni coming out to her as gay when he was 11 years old. “For me, that didn’t change anything. I loved him and didn’t care who he loved. His love and encouragement made me who I am,” she said of the matter.