A 17-year-old and an 18-year-old man were both “intimidated” by a life guard in southern Italy last week, after they were reportedly told stop hugging each other in the pool.
The couple have claimed that after embracing each other at the Lido Arcobaleno beach resort in Caserta, in the Campania region, they were warned not to do it again.
“We were in the pool like everyone else,” one of the young men said, according to The Local.
“While we were in the water, like everyone else present, we also embraced, a spontaneous embrace, but we are two men and it was not appreciated.”
According to the teen, the life guard then approached them and asked them to stop hugging as “there are children present in the facility.”
He added that he wanted to see the couple remain more “composed”.
When they eventually decided to leave, the couple said that the life guard approached them again to say that “he would have asked the same restraint of heterosexual couples.”
However, the teens pointed out that there were numerous heterosexual couples who were not asked to stop hugging in the pool.
Bernardo Diana – who heads up the local branch of LGBT+ right group Rain Arcigay – reiterated that despite Italian law ensuring equal rights for LGBT+ people, this kind of discrimination continues in the region.
He used this particular case as a call on the government to outlaw sexual discrimination in Italy with new legislation.