Tropea (Italy), July 25 (IANS/AKI) A homosexual male couple was not allowed to stay at a holiday flat in Italy’s southern Calabria region due to a ‘no gays or animals admission policy’, sparking a social media furore and calls for stricter anti-discrimination rules in the sector, reports said Monday.
“Important, and I am sorry if I may seem like a caveman. We do not accepts gays and animals,” read a WhatsApp message sent to the couple by the managers of Casa Vacanze Ciufo, a resort near the popular beach town of Tropea.
The message was shared by the two gay men from Naples on social media and Casa Vacanze Ciufo were suspended from Booking.com, the website where they had booked the accommodation.
The local Mayor also criticised the anti-gay hoteliers and offered the couple a free stay in another holiday home in the area, rights association Arcigay said.
Gennaro, one of the two gay men from Naples reported the incident to their local branch of Archigay, which publicised the case on its website.
“That WhatsApp message (sent by Casa Vacanze Ciufo) was absolutely chilling. It conjured up the infamous ‘no dogs and Jews’ signs that were common in Nazi Germany. But that was 70 years ago,” said Gennaro.
“This episode cannot pass unnoticed,” he added.
Arcigay chief Gabriele Piazzoni, condemned the “disturbing” incident and urged the LGBTI community to boycott vacation websites with no clear non-discrimination policies.
Italy in May last year became the last country in western Europe to legalise same-sex unions, amid fierce opposition from the Catholic Church and from conservative politicians and their supporters.