He said “diversity is not a rupture, diversity is not an indication of superiority of some realities, wrongly seen as inferior, but an expression of democracy, respect for history. The richness of Italy and the richness of Europe lies precisely in diversity.”
Near the end of his 16-minute address, he cited St. Thomas Aquinas, a 13th-century Dominican priest influential in the areas of theology, philosophy, and law.
“We must remember what St. Thomas Aquinas indicated,” Fontana said: “‘Evil is not the opposite of good, it is the deprivation of good.’ The task for us parliamentarians will be not to deprive Italy of the good. We must strive for it with humility, seriousness, and sobriety. We are the most beautiful and creative people in the world.”
The Catholic deputy has been involved in politics from a young age. He has degrees in political science and history. In his 20s he held positions in local government in his home city of Verona.
He was a member of the European Parliament from 2009–2018, Italian minister of the family and disability from 2018–2019, and minister of European affairs for part of 2019.
In recent years, Fontana has participated in demonstrations promoting the traditional family and pro-life values, and he was one of the organizers of the 2019 World Congress of Families in Verona.
He is also a member of the Committee No. 194, which works to overturn Italy’s Law 194, which legalized abortion in 1978.
He is co-author of the book “La Culla Vuota della Civiltà” (“The Empty Cradle of Civilization”) about Italy’s demographic decline.
Fontana has been criticized by his political opposition for his pro-life and anti-LGBTQ stance, past pro-Russia comments, as well as for some of his statements against mass immigration, including a 2016 quote reported by Il Corriere della Sera that “with gay unions and immigration they want to dominate us and cancel our people.”