Rome, Italy, Nov 11, 2014 / 12:47 pm
Following protests from viewers, the Italian bishops' conference-run TV station has withdrawn an invitation to a popular Italian trans-sexual and LGBT activist to take part in its prime-time show.
Vladimir Luxuria, whose original name is Vladimiro Guadagno, had been invited to appear on Tv2000's talk show "Il Tg dei Tg" as a guest commentator addressing daily news and general affairs.
The announcement of Vladimir Luxuria's participation to the show came along with the beginning of the Italian Bishops Conference autumn council, which includes the presidents of the Italian Regional Conferences and of the Bishops' conference commission.
Although the invitation drew emails and social media posts of outcry from viewers, Luxuria says that the autumn council posed a scheduling conflict with the show, which he claims is the official reason for the withdrawal.
"I had been invited about ten days ago to take part to the show, and I accepted. Then yesterday, Paolo Ruffini, the director of the television, called me and withdrew the invitation, explaining that perhaps the journalist who had invited me did not notice that the Italian Bishops Permanent Council was gathering in these days," Luxuria told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
In remarks to CNA, Ruffini said he would not comment on why Luxuria had been invited to take part to the show.
Luxuria maintains to La Repubblica that Ruffini had told him that "the invitation was just postponed," since Ruffini said "he was not going to cancel my participation, but he just said he had to move it forward of a couple of weeks."
The first trans-sexual in Europe to be elected a Member of Parliament in 2006 and the organizer of the first Italian Gay Pride in 1994, Luxuria is advocating a civil unions law – which the Italian government is drafting – effectively recognizing gay "marriage" in the country.
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops' conference, criticized the law in his opening address Nov. 10 to the autumn council.
"It is a thoughtless weakening the family by creating new legal figures – yet with specious distinctions which only confuse people and are a 'Trojan horse'" to culturally and socially get rid of the notion of family, the cardinal said.