An openly gay politician from Italy’s center-left party beat out a Berlusconi–backed right-wing party candidate in a highly contested race for governor of Sicily. The openly gay candidate, Rosario Crocetta, represents a coalition of Italy’s center-left Democratic Party and the Catholic UDC Party, allowing him to win the race by over 30% of the vote. Crocetta, who describes himself as a devote Catholic, says that southern Italy is relaxed about gay politicians: “There is a great respect for the individual, making it less homophobic than the north.” He also once said that: “After leaving prison in England, Oscar Wilde took refuge in Palermo. Seen like this, there is lot people have to learn about the south.” His win Sunday makes him the second openly gay leader in Southern Italy. The region of Puglia has had openly governor Nichi Vendola since 2005. Crocetta has used his position as mayor of Gela to crack down on the mafia, which has landed him in some life-threatening situations including three assassination plots.
Find out more about him The Guardian.