Italy PM Meloni Denies LGBTQ, Abortion References Were Removed From G7 Summit Declaration


G7 Summit 2024: Italy’s far-right government, led by Giorgia Meloni, has “categorically denied” that it removed references to abortion and LGBTQ rights in the G7 summit’s final declaration.

In the declaration of the G7 Summit in Puglia, which was published late on Friday, a reference to the protection of the “gender identity and sexual orientation” of the LGBTQ community did not appear, as per a report by The Guardian. The reference, however, was included in the final declaration of the G7 in Japan last year.

The word “abortion” was also left out of a broader commitment to “universal access to adequate, affordable, and quality health services for women, including comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights for all,” as quoted by The Guardian. In last year’s communique, G7 leaders explicitly committed to addressing “access to safe and legal abortion.”

Bloomberg was the first to report about the removed LGBTQ passage. It linked the removal to the involvement in the summit of Pope Francis, with whom the Italian PM Meloni is reported to have bonded over LGBTQ and abortion issues. 

It is the first time that a G7 meeting was addressed by a pontiff.

“The news published by Bloomberg, according to which any reference to the rights of LGBT people could be removed from the final G7 communique, is devoid of any foundation,” Meloni’s office said, as quoted by The Guardian. “The Italian presidency [of the G7] categorically denies this reconstruction,” it further stated.

The allegation resulted in a clash between the Italian PM and French President Emmanuel Macron after Italy was accused of diluting a reference to guaranteeing access to “safe and legal” abortions in the G7’s final text. 

The declaration was still being negotiated, and “everything that will be included in the final document will be final points resulting from the negotiations,” The Guardian quoted sources in Meloni’s office as saying.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the G7 summit, Macron said that he “regretted” the removal of the reference.

“You don’t have the same sensibilities in your country,” Macron said to an Italian journalist, as quoted by The Guardian. “France has a vision of equality between women and men, but it’s not a vision shared by all the political spectrum,” he added.

The Italian PM Hits Back

Italian Prime Minister Meloni slammed Macron and accused him of using the G7 for “electioneering”,  The Guardian reported, citing reports in the Italian press.

After coming to power, Meloni’s government has introduced policies against the LGBTQ community, such as a crackdown on same-sex parenting, and in April, her government approved a law allowing anti-abortion activists to enter abortion clinics.

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