In a hotel in the town of Cavallino, in southern Italy, a homophobic bathroom sign has been uncovered and it is causing a commotion.
The sign features three different figures, one for female, another for male and then one labeled “gay” that contains the colors from both the male and female figures. The third figure also has its hands flamboyantly placed at its head and hip.
The owner of the hotel claims the sign was leftover from when the establishment had a previous owner.
“The word had been covered up but somebody decided to uncover it and make it visible again,” the owner told Il Quotidiano. The owner plans to have the extra figure painted over.
Even though there are plans for the icon to painted over, The Associazione LeA (Liberamente e Apertamente), an Italian LGBT rights lobby, is still unhappy that the sign was up in the first place.
“It is frankly shocking that in 2017 there are still cases of this kind, where there is a great confusion between gender identity and sexual orientation and it is flaunted by communications in such a misleading and homophobic manner in public places, which only humiliates and hurts people,” said a spokesperson for the local branch of the gay rights lobby.
The discovery of the homophobic sign comes just days after Italian firefighter Costantino Saporito was reprimanded for showing up to Rome Pride in his uniform.
Saporito, a straight ally, attended the celebration in June with with UBS, an Italian service worker’s union. In the photo below, he’s seen holding a sign that reads “My freedom protects yours.”
Weeks later Saporito received a disciplinary letter from his supervisor, accusing him of “portraying [the firefighter] uniform in an unprofessional and disrespectful manner,” he told HuffPost Italy.
Now, Saporito is facing a hearing for wearing his uniform without authorization.
These incidents come a year after the Italian Parliament voted to pass a bill that allows civil unions for same-sex couples.