Italy’s far-right prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, has dismissed Canadian leader Justin Trudeau’s criticism of Italy’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights, attributing it to “fake news.”
Meloni and Trudeau engaged in discussions during the 49th annual G7 summit, which took place from May 19 to 21. The summit brought together leaders from G7 member states—the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and Japan—to coordinate global policies.
Taking place in Hiroshima, Japan, the summit provided Trudeau with an opportunity to address Italy’s anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and legislative direction.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was also urged to champion LGBTQ+ equality and advocate for same-sex marriage during the G7 summit. Notably, Japan is the only G7 member country that currently does not recognize equal unions.
During a bilateral meeting on May 18, Trudeau expressed Canada’s concerns about Italy’s position on LGBTQ+ rights to Meloni.
Although journalists were asked to leave the room before further discussions, Trudeau stated, “Obviously, Canada is concerned about some of the (positions) that Italy is taking in terms of LGBT rights. But I look forward to talking with you about that.”
Meloni, who became Italy’s first female prime minister and the country’s first far-right leader since World War II after her election in October 2022, has made it a priority to combat what she refers to as “gender ideology” and the “LGBT lobby.”
In March, the Italian government introduced a bill that criminalizes couples who travel abroad for surrogacy, a move criticized for targeting LGBTQ+ couples seeking to become parents.
Surrogate pregnancies are illegal in Italy, and although same-sex unions were legalized in 2016, same-sex couples do not have adoption rights.
During the same month, the government also required councils to stop automatically registering children who have two mothers or two fathers. Italy currently lacks formal protections for same-sex parents.
According to the summary provided by Canada’s prime ministerial office, Trudeau and Meloni discussed the importance of safeguarding human rights, including those of the 2SLGBTQI+ community.
Meloni responded by stating that her government adheres to court decisions and maintains continuity with previous administrations.
However, before leaving Japan, Meloni addressed reporters and criticized Trudeau for holding her accountable for LGBTQ+ rights, asserting that he was influenced by false information.
BNN Bloomberg reported that Meloni described Trudeau’s comments as hasty and suggested that he may have realized the disparity between perception and reality regarding her stance on LGBTQ+ issues.
Meloni further emphasized that she has not made any changes to existing LGBTQ+ legislation in Italy.