Saturday, 7 June 2008

Gay pride in Rome

So this weekend is gay pride in Rome and at the end of the day I walked from a session of my course on organisational mission and inspiration into the rather wonderful melée of the rainbow parade on the Piazza Venezia.
The banner I saw most frequently had a picture of St Peter's on it with a large cross through it and said No VAT! It took me a while to get over my cognitive dissonance and realise that VAT was not value added tax but the Vatican. As we had been saying at my management course all day context is everything!
Anyway it woulds eem that No VAT is a grouping working for a secular Italian state along the lines of France. Their flags were out in force because same sex couples in Italy do not yet have the same rights as same sex couples in France, Switzerland or the UK, and the Catholic Church is seen as blocking any moves in this direction.
Tomorrow morning my host here in Rome will be helping lead an ecumenical service for the gay pride weekend at one of the local base communities.
Each time I come to Rome there seems to be a demonstration. Today's was a lots more joyous fun than the last two I got caught up in which were political rallies by the fascists.