For the umpteenth time parliament has thrown out a law which would put acts of homophobia on a par with sexism and racism. Bizarrely on the same day that France voted to allow same sex marriage, and Spain retroactively condoned the 23000 gay marriages already celebrated, Italy (or rather the PDL, Lega Nord and UDC) threw out the law which would make it illegal to attack gay people in the street, throw them out of work and treat them as second class citizens. All this from an Italy that pretends to be in the forefront of Europe when actually it is down there with Russia, Latvia and Hungary as an intolerant and prejudiced society. All the more galling that the UDC – the supposed Christian party – voted against the bill on the grounds that it will bring gay marriage and adoption. Its hard to see that allowing a person to live their life without fear of being insulted, sacked or worse, equates with tripping down the aisle with a squad of test tube babies in tow. It would be expected from the Lega Nord, who would repeal the racism law tomorrow if possible, but from the ‘centre’ parties it is a disgrace that will not be easily forgiven.