Italo debate out of the closet

Isinna, RAI at center of controversy

Italy’s debate on the hot-button subject of gay rights is heating up, with pubcaster RAI at the center of a recent fray.

Flavio Isinna, the popular host of gameshow “Affari tuoi,” the local version of “Deal or No Deal,” recently disclosed that he’d been asked whether he is gay during an audition for RAI.

His remarks also sparked protests from parliament just as a debate is raging over a bill that proposes to legalize civil unions of gay couples in this Catholic country.

Not surprisingly, the legislation by Italy’s center-left government has been condemned by Pope Benedict XVI.

But RAI itself has of late taken a progressive stance on the gay issue: Its upcoming skein “Un medico in famiglia” (A Doctor in the Family) will feature two doctors living together, the first time a gay couple has been depicted on state TV.

The series has been slammed by members of Silvio Berlusconi‘s conservative bloc who have asked that it be pulled before its scheduled March playdate.

Right-wing MP Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, complained that RAI was trying to “brainwash” people with the message that “a normal family is composed of two people of the same sex.”

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