The leader of the anti-mass immigration party Fratelli d’Italia and likely Italy’s next prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, demonstrated why she is leading in polls. During a campaign rally, an angry LGBTQ activist, 24-year-old Marco Marras, charged on stage in Cagliari; instead of Meloni running for cover and allowing her security guards to usher the man off stage, she calmly and respectfully engaged the activist. Furthermore, she helped him understand that many of his preconceived ideas about herself and her policies were not based on reality but created by the left.
Meloni and Marras’ interaction did not end at the campaign event. The man took to social media shortly after the event and thanked Meloni for how she treated him and for taking the time to speak with him. He also thanked the police for being good to him “because they understood what kind of person I am, a boy who just wanted to express his opinion. I thank everyone,” said the activist who interrupted Meloni’s campaign.
The leader of the party responded on Facebook to Marras. Meloni also shared the touching story of her father’s absence.
Marco, you were very brave, and, as I said yesterday, I have great respect for anyone who has the courage to stand up for what they believe in.
I also think that we are all the same and all brothers, and I believe that everyone has the right to love who they want and that the State should mind its own business. Today there are civil unions, and in Italy, you can safely tie officially with whoever you want; I would not propose to take away this right.
Meloni then went into specifics, explaining her position on gay adoptions and recounting her own family experience:
I disagree with adoption, as you know, but not because I consider your feeling inferior to what a man and woman feel. I consider it fair, to be clear, also that the Italian State does not allow adoption by singles, and I don’t think you will tell me that I’m “singleophobic” because I’m not homophobic. I consider this right because I believe a child has the right to grow up with a father and mother. I was raised in a single-parent family. I can’t say I’ve been unhappy but did I miss a father? Yeah, I can’t deny it. If I say, do I take anything away from my mother’s unconditional love? No.
We can disagree on this, you and I, but it doesn’t mean I have to hate you, or you have to hate me. I respect and try to understand your point of view; I hope that sooner or later, you will be able to do the same. And I hope that one day you want to talk about it calmly, without cameras and without sensationalism. I wish you all the best and keep up your courage.