League senators furious over transgender Q&A with kids

The far-right League’s famously hardline conservative senator Simone Pillon was left outraged after a transgender actor and former politician spoke to schoolchildren about gender identity for a TV show.

League senators furious over transgender Q&A with kids
Anti-gay rights activists protest in Rome with a sign saying 'We are all born from a man and a woman'. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Actor Vladimir Luxuria spoke to the group of 9-12 year olds for RAI3 show Alla Lavagna! (At the Blackboard), on which adults are quizzed by a classroom full of youngsters, often on controversial or “adult” themes like politics, religion and now, sexuality.

The show is well-known in Italy for the thoughtful and sometimes challenging questions posed by children to adult participants, who have previously included League leader Matteo Salvini.

Luxuria told the children of the “deep sadness” she'd felt as an adolescent, being born a boy but identifying strongly as female.

Pillon reportedly slammed the Q&A session as “shameful indoctrination” and said Luxuria “should go and tell her fairytale somewhere else, definitely not in a school with kids in front of the cameras.”

He said he would be filing a complaint about the contents of the show with the broadcaster’s parliamentary oversight committee.

Pillone is not the only one to complain about the show, with the channel receiving a high number of complaints after the programme was aired and drawing criticsm from conservative Christian groups like ProVita and Generazione Famiglia.
The show was also described as “unacceptable” by Paolo Tiramani, League minister and member of the Rai Parliamentary committee, who said the topic was “too complex” for the children and that such private matters “must remain private.”
It's no surprise that the party, which rules in coalition with the Five Star Movement, has reacted so strongly to the programme.
The League has given conservative Catholics several prominent government roles, notably new Families Minister Lorenzo Fontana, who upon his appointment swiftly declared that same-sex parents “don't exist at the moment, as far as the law is concerned” and expressed his preference for what he called “natural” families with one mother and one father.
Salvini meanwhile has pushed for the wording to be changed on childrens' identity cards from “parents” to “mother and father”. But his attempt to give preference to heterosexual couples was blocked by data protection rules.

Pillon meanwhile, also a family lawyer, proposed sweeping reforms to Italy's divorce and custody laws that opponents fear will make it harder for women to leave marriages and place survivors of domestic abuse at continued risk.

While Italy does not recognise gay marriage or the parental rights it would guarantee, at a local level various Italian cities have begun allowing same-sex couples to legally register their children to both parents, a move towards de facto acknowledgement.

Italy scores poorly when it comes to LGBT rights, particulary with equality and non-discrimination, according to rights group Rainbow Europe.


Italy plans to stop ‘revolving door’ between judges and politicians

Italian lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a planned reform aimed at stopping the 'revolving door' between justice and government, as part of wider changes to the country's creaking judicial system.

Italy plans to stop 'revolving door' between judges and politicians

The proposed reform, which still has to be approved by the Italian Senate in the coming weeks, imposes significant limitations on the number of magistrates, prosecutors and judges looking to go into politics – a frequent move in Italy.

Under the submitted changes, a magistrate wishing to stand for election, whether national, regional or local, will not be able to do so in the region where they have worked over the previous three years.

At the end of their mandate, magistrates who have held elective positions will not be able to return to the judiciary – they will be moved to non-jurisdictional posts at, for example, the Court of Auditors or the Supreme Court of Cassation, according to local media reports.

Furthermore, magistrates who have applied for elective positions but have not been successful for at least three years will no longer be able to work in the region where they ran for office. 

The reform is part of a wider programme of changes to Italy’s tortuous judicial system. This is required by the European Commission to unlock billions of euros in the form of post-pandemic recovery funds.

Public perception of the independence of Italian courts and judges is among the worst in Europe, according to the EU’s justice scoreboard.