Red faces all round Rome last week when Italian police were forced to apologise after they were required to change an official training manual which claimed homosexuality was a “sexual deviance” and listed it in the same category as bestiality, incest and necrophilia.
The offensive and homophobic passage in the 585-page manual, which was being used internally during training and officer exams within the Carabinieri police force, read: “The main sexual deviances are homosexuality, exhibitionism, fetishism, sadism, incest and bestiality.”
There was a mass outcry from Italian gay and human rights group and the Carabinieri made a hasty red faced apology. It was “an unfortunate mistake,” said the Carabinieri’s commander general Leonardo Gallitelli, adding that the text “was based on an obsolete formula”. Gallitelli said the offending passage was “immediately cancelled”.
Paolo Patane, the head of gay rights group Arcigay, said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the correction and said the original passage was “incredible.”
Paola Concia, a member of parliament said before the correction was made that the passage was “shameful”. Considering homosexuality as a type of deviant behaviour “goes against all the laws of the state,” she said.