Leader: Italian gays targets of terrorism

Sept. 2, 2009 at 6:14 PM

ROME, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The gay community in Italy has become the victim of homophobic "acts of terrorism," a gay group leader said Wednesday.

In the latest incident, someone threw firecrackers Tuesday night on a street in Rome known as a gathering place for homosexuals, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. Police said one man suffered minor injuries and a scooter was damaged.

Witnesses saw four men running from the scene.

''These are acts of terrorism from people who want us to live in hiding,'' said Franco Grillini, president of Gaynet, a homosexual journalists' group.

Last week, a young man was stabbed at a gay festival and two visitors from Naples were beaten a few days later. After those incidents were publicized, a gay musician reported he had been attacked earlier in August.

Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno has promised more police protection in gay gathering places. But the homosexual rights group Arcigay said the country needs laws to protect gays.

The group plans to hold torchlight marches every Friday in Rome to call for legislation.

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