For years or even decades, Mr Berlusconi was a staunch enemy of gay rights. The endorsement by the Catholic hierarchies indeed helped him to stay in power so long.
Yesterday, suddenly he released a press statement arguing that “the battle for the rights of homosexuals should be everyone’s battle in a modern and democratic country… as a liberal, I feel that by means of a wide and deep dialogue it is possible to reach a reasonable point of justice and civilization”.
It was not a real surprise since Mr Berlusconi’s fiancée, Mrs Francesca Pascale, had just enlisted into the national gay association together with hard-line rightist journalist Vittorio Feltri. Mrs Pascale is often rumored to be the new de facto ruler of Mr Berlusconi’s party.
Mr Renzi’s Government should propose a bill to legalize gay civil partnerships this Autumn.