LGBTQ+ Labor Discrimination in Italy

Unlike some states such as Portugal, whose Constitution explicitly mentions the prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation, Italy is still a long way from reaching such a goal.

The Italian Constitution, in art. 3, establishes the principle of equality stating that “all citizens have equal social dignity and are equal before the law, without distinction of sex, race, language, religion, political opinion, personal and social conditions”. However, in this article, sexual orientation is not expressly indicated as a reason for inequality.

A first explicit reference entered Italian law only in 2003, thanks to the entry into force of Legislative Decree no. 216, implementing Directive 2000/78 / EC which aims to “establish a general framework for the fight against discrimination based on religion or personal beliefs, disabilities, age or sexual tendencies, with regard to employment and working conditions in order to make the principle of equal treatment effective in the Member States”. However, to date, with reference to sectors other than work, the lack of an explicit prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation persists in the Italian legislation. The only exceptions are represented by some regional laws, which have expanded this protection to include other sectors such as education, public services or housing.

The absence of a law specifically criminalizing discrimination based on sexual orientation results in the presence, in Italy, of a high number of homophobic episodes, often leading to actual violence. Exclusion, derision and violence for homophobic reasons are in fact, unfortunately, still on the agenda. These occur both in public places such as streets or squares, and in environments that should be more protected such as homes or schools or workplaces. The seriousness of such discrimination is given by the fact that they have a concrete and negative impact on the lives of the victims, who are often also affected by very serious illicit conduct such as threats, bullying, mobbing or impediment of career progression, up to more extreme cases. such as serious injury, homicide, or inducing suicide.

Giambrone Law Firm, thanks to the preparation of its team of lawyers in the GayLawyers division which specialises in the protection of LGBTQI+ rights, is able to provide assistance in civil, criminal and labor law to anyone who considers themselves a victim of discriminatory acts on the basis of their orientation. sexual.

 – Martina Iemma, Trainee Lawyer

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