Homophobia violates dignity -Mattarella

Persecution 'unacceptable violation of universal human rights'

(ANSA) - Rome, May 17 - Homophobia and transphobia "violate human dignity, betray the principle of equality and restrict freedom and sentiments" President Sergio Mattarella said in a statement on the international day against homophobia on Wednesday. "Any form of persecution on the basis of sexual orientation, wherever it occurs, always represents an unacceptable violation of universal human rights," Mattarella added. "Acts of intolerance are expressed in verbal violence or derision, sometimes they give rise to threats or physical aggression. These are manifestations that hurt our entire society, which comes out weakened in its fundamental values of co-existence," he continued. "When the discrimination targets young people and adolescents there is the serious risk of compromising a delicate balance, because the years of youth are the ones in which self-acceptance is built, which is an important part of future serenity," Mattarella concluded.