Venice is enjoying a boom in gay tourism, thanks to the many cruise ships that dock in its iconic canals and its numerous cultural offerings, but Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, a business man who won the election on a center-right platform, draws the line at a gay pride parade. The rightwing mayor didn’t cite homophobia as the reason for refusing a pride parade, but because it’s “[the] height of kitsch.” He told La Repubblica: “There will never be a gay pride in my city…Let them go and do it in Milan, or in front of their own homes.”
The decision has prompted a critical response, naturally, from gay-rights organizations throughout Italy. “Venice is not his city. At the moment he is governing it, but he won’t last long given the fool he is making of himself,” said Arcigay’s president, Flavio Romani. “He is becoming obsessive about this. Venice does not deserve it.”
Venice hosted a gay pride celebration last year.
His anti-gay history as mayor speaks for itself. Soon after taking office he banned books that featured gay and lesbian couples from schools.