When freedom of being oneself was/is punished as a crime of indecency


The recent (and sparingly discussed) decision of Meloni’s government, which has declared its intention to reinstate the prison sentence for the crime of Obscene Acts in a Public Place, currently sanctioned with an administrative fine ranging from 5,000 to 30,000 euro, and to impose harsher penalties, is cause for reflection and concern. Concern that one’s freedom of expression runs the risk of arrest and imprisonment.

This is exactly what happened to Porpora Marcasciano in November 1981, the historic Italian trans activist and writer, who recently posted on her Instagram account about the day she was arrested on her way out of university for acts that were considered obscene in a public place. She was 24 years old and only wore a bit of eyeliner and clothes that reflected the period in which she lived. She had done nothing but be who she was; what she felt she was.

She was arrested during a police raid and taken to the Regina Coeli prison where she was held for four days and nights.
At the summary trial, on the fourth day, Marcasciano was charged with Obscene Acts and her lawyer, in response, decided that a plea bargain would be the only way to proceed.

The result was a sentence of two months imprisonment with probation and non-inclusion in the criminal record: a discriminatory outcome passed off as a State success in relation to its ‘Good Morals’ law. A clear provocation, and disrespect of how homosexual and transsexual people choose to live their lives.

This factual, historical account asks an existing, pertinent question: should we accept a legal retrogression, in contradiction to the current cultural progress taking place in Italy? The LGBTQIA+ community, and Italy as a whole deserve more. Fact.

Giorgio Galluzzo, Business Development Executive

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