On Scene with Bill Wilson

Ignazio Marino campaigning for Mayor of Rome.

Sometimes opportunity knocks so hard you have to respond. When presented with the second chance to meet one of the two candidates in the run-off for Mayor of Rome, Fernando and I took the opportunity to give Ignazio Marino encouragement for proposing legal recognition of same sex couples.

We were walking in the neighborhood where Fernando’s mother lives when I convinced Fernando to walk on the side of the street where the political campaign had set up their booths for distributing campaign literature. As a collector of campaign ephemera (buttons, posters, banners, and leaflets etc.) I wanted Fernando to ask if we could have one of the “Marino Sindaco” (Marino Mayor) flags flying from their booth. When Fernando asked the lady in the booth if that was possible her reply was, “Oh, no. Marino is going to be here at 5 and we need them until then for sure. Come back later.”   So that is how we found out the candidate was actually going to be in the neighborhood and since it was 4:35 pm I had time to go get my camera and come back.

 

The stage near the entrance to the Tiburtina Shopping Center

 

When I came back there was a small stage set up near the entrance to Tiburtina Shopping Center, a small mall several blocks from Fernando’s mother’s apartment. I decided that was the best place to be to get some photos. It was closer to 6 by the time things actually got started. There were several hundred people present.

The rally began with the introduction of  Nicola Zingaretti, the President of the Lazio Region, who gave the main political speech. The disadvantage of not speaking Italian is that I can’t give you a word by word account of his speech, only that it was enthusiastically received.  The next person to be introduced was the person running for the local council (similar to our Board of Supervisors). Then Ignazio Marino spoke to the crowd.

 

Nicola Zingaretti, President of the Lazio Region  speaking at a rally for Ignazio Marino (left) and Emiliano Sciascia (on right)who is running for President of  Municipio IV

 

I had mentioned to Fernando that when he finished speaking I hoped to be able to get a photo of him with Marino. When he finished he turned to the side where his aide was and we thought we had missed our chance. However for some reason he came back on stage to say something he had forgotten. So when he finished he was looking directly at me and I asked if it would be possible to get a photo with Fernando and him.  He agreed and Fernando actually stepped onto the stage with him. Fernando explained hat we were a couple and told him that when he was elected Mayor he hoped that he would work to get civil unions. Marino replied, “It’s in the program.”

 

Fernando speaking with Ignazio Marino.

The program being a booklet, “Roma È Vita, Il Programma Elettorale di Ignazio Marino per Roma Capitale” (Rome is Life: The Electoral Program of Ignazio Marino for the Rome Capital). The relevant sections being under “Pari Opportunità: Certificato di unione per riconoscere amministrativamente le coppie di fatto.” (Equal Opporuntiy- Marriage certificate to administratively recognize unmarried couples)  and “I Diritti delle Persone LGBT: Riconoscimento admministrativo delle coppie di fatto” (The Rights of LGBT People: Admministrative recognition of unmarried couples). I don’t mean to imply that those are the only things under those categories because they are not. I think it is a positive step forward and a good place to start. I will be happy if Marino wins the second round of voting and becomes the Mayor of Roma!

Ignazio Marino interacting with people in the crowd as he leaves Tiburtina Shopping Center on Tuesday June 4, 2013

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