On 13 January 1998 the Sicilian poet Alfredo Ormando committed suicide setting himself on fire in St. Peter Square to denounce the anti-homosexual repression of the Vatican. The Catholic church has not changed his attitude toward gay and lesbians so far; the other principal religions have manifested an equal censorship towards GLBT rights: in 1999 in France Muslims, Catholics and even Jewish have bemoaned against PACS.
“We want to transform the celebration on January 13 into an occasion for the creation of a dialogue between homosexuals and representatives of all religious beliefs – reports Fabrizio Marrazzo, Arcigay national responsible for the fight against homophobia on religious basis – We have to find new ways leading towards a lay, plural and multicultural society, inclusive of all differences. A permanent council for the dialogue between religions and homosexuals will start working soon.”
During the day two events will take place: the traditional sit-in in Piazza Pio XII (near St. Peter Square) and this year for the first time an international meeting.