Italian gay rights activists yesterday slammed as “outrageous” Parliament’s rejection of a Bill that sought to combat homophobic attacks, and called on the European Union to intervene.

“This Parliament has betrayed justice and civility and has decided to support the violent,” said Paolo Patane, head of gay rights association Arcigay.

He called on the EU “to help us face this extremely dangerous rise in homophobia, xenophobia and racism that the Italian Parliament has decided to legitimise.”

Italy’s chamber of deputies voted for a second time on the Bill, which gay and lesbian activists said was urgently needed given a rise in the number of homophobic attacks throughout predominantly Roman Catholic Italy.

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