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The Revolution of Rights

A contribution to the claim of civil rights in Italy and in the world: activism LGBTI  with Globe - MAE

Some essential information

The awareness of the centrality of civil rights movements, that since the Sixties have marked the progress of Western and many others countries, has always been strong theme in my works on Nonviolence. This is what the historian Steven Pinker, in his essay The Decline of Violence, calls The Revolution of Rights.

An increasingly effective process that has brought to a higher centrality of human rights began with Martin Luther King and his Nonviolent struggle for the rights of African American, inspired by Gandhi, continued than with the movement in favour of women's rights, the defense of childrens rights, the protection and enhancement of minorities up to the struggle for Homosexual rights.

Solemnly stated in 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and considered one of the three milestones of the UN, along with Development and Peace and Security, this principle had been put aside until in the mid-Seventies when it reached a key role both nationally and internationally thanks to the civil and social movements started in the previous decade.

We are now in a phase defined by the Argentinean philosopher Rabossi as  " The Culture of Human Rights" that is a revised and updated phase of the Enlightenment path began with the American and French Revolutions. A path that is not progressive nor linear, but characterized by difficult turnings, dramatic setbacks and sudden leaps forward. What is essential to maintain this direction is the role each individual has, his ability to aggregate alongside with the awareness of the centrality of personal ethical choices and of a more considerate use of reason. The rise of the Net Society is providing further strength to the achievement of Human Rights.

The new boundary today is the pursue of the rights of LGBTI  (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex), with its main focus on both individual freedom and protection of minorities, placing them at the heart of the challenges of contemporary society and making them more and more universally recognized - Ireland and the United States being a recent example- although complex situations, especially in African and Asian countries give a disjointed and even dramatic picture considering that in some countries homosexuality is still punished by death penalty.

Italy is inexplicably backward not only in comparison with Western and many other countries, for example the Latin American ones, but also compared to its own history and culture, being Italy one of the most important countries as far as the world humanitarian development is concerned. The philosopher Roberto Esposito pointed out  in his essay Living Thought: the Origins and Actuality of Italian Philosophy (Pensiero Vivente) that Humanism put the human factor at the very heart of modern thought and that during the Enlightenment one of the most important contributes to the claim of the centrality of the individual came from Cesare Beccaria .

Commitment and LGBTI activism

In December 2013, some gay and lesbian employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted me to found an Association aimed at the  protection and promotion of LGBTI rights in our Ministry, with the intent to contribute to the upholding of the LGBTI rights in our country and in the world. I gave my full support.

That was the beginning of  "Globe-MAE" association where Globe is a term inspired by a similar association created at the United Nations in New York, and MAE is the Italian acronym of  Ministry of Foreign Affairs  (Ministero degli Affari Esteri). Since the beginning of 2015, I have become the Coordinator - President of the Association.

So far we have achieved very important results. In particular, we managed to get diplomatic protection such as the granting of  a diplomatic or service passport for partners when security issues or difficulties in obtaining a visa might emerge. This possibility is open to all non-marital partnerships, whether heterosexual or homosexual, and this is an important sign of openness and inclusiveness both as far as the battle for rights and the struggle against any discrimination of homosexuals are concerned.

As for the institutions, we have established relationships with all the major Italian political parties, and we have participated to the hearing of the discussion held at Commissione Giustizia del Senato (Senate Judiciary Committee) concerning the Draft Law on Civil Unions. Moreover we are  collaborating with other LGBTI Italian associations and we have taken part to various Gay Prides, such as the ones held in Rome and in Reggio Calabria. We have established fruitful contacts with the equivalent organization in the Department of State, GLIFAA, and more recently we have made contacts with associations for LGBTI Human Rights in several Mediterranean countries.

Globe-MAE  has promoted important events to enhance the social awareness of LGBTI rights.

On May 17th 2014, the International Day against Homophobia, an International Conference named "The LGBTI individual in Today Society" was organized and hosted at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2015, on the same occasion, the conference "Diritti Omosessuali, differenza come valore" ("Homosexual Rights, diversity as a value") was held at the prestigious Sala Zuccari at the Italian Senate Palace, with an opening speech of Pietro Grasso, President of the Italian Senate.

Although we are aware that only a law aimed at regulating relationships between people of the same sex and a law against homophobia will allow the full exercising of the rights and civil freedom for LGBTI in our country, Globe-MAE is equally aware of the importance of a more mature social sensitivity and insight towards homosexual individuals fully understanding their rights and needs.

Our commitment, my own and that of all the members of  Globe-MAE, is destined to grow and expand.

Finally, as my personal contribute to the LGBTI issue, I have published an article on the connections between homosexuality and Nonviolence, a topic that played a central role also during the speeches I gave at the two previously mentioned Conferences, the one at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the one at the Italian Senate.

The article, available on this site (http://www.fabriziopetri.com/attachments/article/30/QuiLibri.pdf) was published in Italian in Qui Libri magazine and on the online magazine Reset and in English (http://www.fabriziopetri.com/attachments/article/30/QuiLibri.pdf)  on Reset and in the international journal Global Policy Journal.

Important philosophers who are deeply involved in Nonviolence issues, in particular the Iranian Ramin Jahanbegloo, have expressed appreciation for my approach which, using categories of the analytical psychology, is creating new opportunities and perspectives to the application of Nonviolence.

Interview

Interview by Sonia Martina of Fabrizio Petri on Radio Radicale

Attachments:
Download this file (Human Rights_ Homosexuality and nonviolence, crisis and rebirth of a culture of rights - Fabrizio Petri _ Reset Dialogues on Civilizations.pdf)Homosexuality and nonviolence, crisis and rebirth of a culture of rights[Article by Fabrizio Petri on "Reset" - 15th March 2015]231 kB