Over a million people rallied on Saturday in Rome's Piazza San Giovanni, at the "family day" organized by catholic associations and supported by some political circles, coming mainly from the opposition. The event was meant to express support to "the family" as an institution, allegedly threatened by the law draft about the DICO, promoted by the left, which extends certain matrimonial rights to de facto couples, both hetherosexual and homosexual. Not very far, in Piazza Navona, a counter-demonstration, attended by a few thousands people, was organized to express support for the DICO, with particular regard to the rights of gay couples.
In fact, the latter appears to be the central issue, about which the right seems somewhat "uncomfortable" with its own position and the left, as usual, does not seem to have one at all. Indeed, the generic "Family Day" had a strong anti-gay demonstration smell, while different top representatives of the left parties expressed radically opposite views on the event. Deputy Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, for example, declared that he would never attend the Family Day "because it is wrong to defend the family by discriminating others", while Prodi's other deputy, Francesco Rutelli, stated that, was it not for his institutional office, he would be the first to go to San Giovanni. In the light of these words, we can't help but ask ourselves where would the Democratic Party leaders have gone if the new movement, meant to bring unity to the ever fragmented left, was already born.
Meanwhile, the ruling coalition suffered an expected blow as the administrative elections in Sicily – a region traditionally dominated by the right - resulted in a wide victory by the opposition, immediately contested by the former Mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando who denounced, during an ad hoc press conference, the presence of widespread vote-rigging. The confirmed mayor of Palermo, Diego Cammarata, encouraged Orlando to speak to Interior Minister Giuliano Amato and defined his claim "a little pathetic".