Gay couple told to stop hugging in public in case it upset children

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A gay couple has said they are saddened after being told to stop hugging in public as there were children nearby.

The couple, 17 and 18 years old, and who did not want to be named, told Repubblica that they were told by a lifeguard at the Lido Arcobaleno to stop hugging in the pool.

They said they felt “intimated” by the lifeguard at the resort in Caserta.

Hand holding

“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,” the 17-year-old said.

He went on to say that the lifeguard had told them to be more “composed” and said there were “children in the facility”, as his reason for telling them to stop hugging.

The lifeguard later claimed to the couple that he would say the same thing to a straight couple.

But the couple said they pointed out to him that there were straight couples hugging and that they had not been asked to stop.

The incident was noted by the head of the local office of Arciga, Bernardo Diana, who says it is sad that this still happens.

He said he is calling on the government to introduce legislation to protect LGBT people against discrimination.

Last month a Catholic guest house came under fire for refusing to host a gay couple.

The B&B bosses, who are devout Catholic, told the two men that “we don’t accept gays and animals”.

Italy is one of the least LGBT-friendly places in the EU.

The country still outlaws same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, access to IVF for lesbians and has no discrimination protections for gay people accessing goods and services.

Same-sex civil unions are legal in Italy, though same-sex marriages are still against the law.

The country earlier this year held its first ever wedding involving a trans woman who has had her true gender recognised without reassignment surgery.