‘No Gays and Animals:’ Italian Guest House Turns Away Male Couple
Posted with permission from dpa German Press Agency
Rome (dpa) - A male couple was turned away from a holiday home in southern Italy because of the owner's 'no gays or animals' admission policy, triggering Monday calls for tighter anti-discrimination rules in the hotel industry.
"Important, and I am sorry if I may come across as a caveman. We do not accepts gays and animals," the managers of Casa Vacanze Ciufo, a resort near the popular beach town of Tropea, Calabria, told two young men from Naples.
The Friday message, delivered via a WhatsApp mobile phone chat, was captured in a screenshot and later shared on Facebook by Massimo Arcangeli, a linguistic professor, who heard the story from the couple and, with their permission, publicized it.
In Arcangeli's post, one of the two men who was denied accommodation said he was reminded of the "no dogs and Jews signs" that were common in Germany during the Nazi era, and said he reported the resort to Booking.com, the website he used to make the reservation.
The head of the Arcigay association, Gabriele Piazzoni, condemned the "disturbing" incident on Monday, and urged LGBTI [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intergender] persons to boycott holiday websites that lack clear non-discrimination policies.
Following the media storm, the anti-gay hoteliers were criticized by the local mayor and the Naples couple was offered a free stay in another facility, Arcangeli wrote in a later Facebook message, and reservations for Casa Vacanze Ciufo were suspended on Booking.com.
Italy, a country steeped in Catholic and macho traditions, has long lagged in terms of gay rights. When it legalized same-sex partnerships last year, it was the last country in Western Europe to pass such reforms.