Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of
Italy's Forza Italia political party, has spoken out in favor of gay
“The [fight] for civil rights for
homosexuals is a fight that in a truly modern and democratic country
should be everyone's responsibility,” Berlusconi said in a
statement published last week in La
“As a liberal, I believe that through
a broad and in-depth debate we can reach a reasonable objective for
justice and civilization,” he added.
The 77-year-old Berlusconi made the
statement just hours after his girlfriend Francesca Pascale joined
Arcigay, Italy's largest LGBT rights advocate.
In 2010, Berlusconi said, “It's
better to be fond of pretty girls than to be gay,” in the course of
defending himself against accusations of involvement in juvenile
Forza Italia is one of Italy's three
major political parties and the largest opposed to marriage equality.
to consider civil unions for gay couples.)