"Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I'm an atheist. And I feel sorry for those who deny their sexuality in the name of religion."
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The relationship between the Church of Rome and sexuality is extremely complex and famously restrictive, and the LGBTQ community usually bears the brunt. According to the catechism, "[homosexual acts] do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity" and "under no circumstances can they be approved." This has an enormous influence over Italy's secular society as well. While civil unions were passed into law last year after consistent pressure from the European Court of Human Rights, and more people have become vocal about the need for all Italians to have equal rights and maintain their identity—without having to renounce their faith—there is still a long way to go.
Kairos, an Italian Christian LGBTQ activist group in Florence, is among the most active when it comes to challenging the church's stance on homosexuality. I talked with Iacopo Ialenti, a 22-year-old Kairos member, about what it is like to be young, Catholic, and gay in Italy today. Read more via VICE