Rome's Via del Corso, the city's main
shopping street, has installed rainbow-themed lights to honor the
memory of a gay teen who committed suicide.
Selection of the rainbow-flag theme for
the bustling street's traditional Christmas lights has stirred
controversy. The lights run above the street for almost a mile.
City assemblywoman Imma Battaglia, also
a gay rights activist, told
the AFP that she and Mayor Ignazio Marino decided on the theme to
Members of the right-wing Fratelli
d'Italia (Italian Brothers) complained.
“The idea is provocative and
ideological. There should be an Italian tri-color instead,”
Assemblyman Fabrizio Ghera said.
The company that installed the lights
attempted to defuse the controversy by re-dedicating the lights to
the memory of Nelson Mandela, who died last week.
“This way the message of love,
tolerance, unity and sharing will become stronger,” Laura Rossi
International said on Friday.