#LoStessoSì: a campaign for full equality and equal marriage
Achieving full equality is one of the main objectives of Arcigay: to our families, this really means access to marriage for all, including full parenting rights. The #lostessosì (“The same ‘I do’”) campaign, which was jump-started by Arcigay together with other LGBTI and non-LGBTI associations in 2015, has exactly this goal: full equality.
The Civil Union law was passed in May 2016, also thanks to the advocacy work done by Arcigay, at the heights of the # lostessosì campaign. This represents a major step forward for each and every one of us, for our society, for our country: finally factual rights were recognized for many lesbian and gay families. At the same time, the law was also the result of a vile political plot to avoid facing the fundamental issue of making gay and lesbian families equal to heterosexual families, including parenting rights. Equality and rights are principles to which we aspire in their entirety, and only when we all have access to equal rights and conditions, will we be satisfied as an association of people who love freedom.
This is where Arcigay starts moving forward for the recognition of full equality. If it is true that “all citizens have equal social status and are equal before the law”, we believe that this is our responsibility, and we all need to turn this into reality.
LoStessoSì acts as a collector of positive inputs that grows with the support and passion of a great network of volunteers and activists who engage locally and nationally. It became the Italian symbol of fighting for full equality.
February 14th and May 17th, 2015 / “Piazzate d’amore” (“Squares of love”) flash mobs
The symbolic days of Valentine’s and the International Day Against Homophobia, were chosen by #lostessosì to organize flash mobs that would provoke a public debate on rights and equality issues. This happened in 30 cities, with thousands of people involved.
May 1st, 2015 / Labor Day Concert
The artists who performed during the traditional Labor Day Concert, which is broadcasted live national wide, were involved in the campaign for visibility.
May 1st ad 17th, 2015 / First “Equality tables”
In Rome and Ravenna, long tables were set on public squares, as a symbolic gesture. The goal was to bring public attention to how families are equal through “having lunch together”, to convey a sense of community and family.
December 2015 / The #DisegnodiFamiglia (“FamilyDrawing”) Campaign
In the midst of the heated debate about stepchild-adoption rights, Arcigay collaborated with Famiglie Arcobaleno and Condividilove to launch a video raising awareness about what families really are about, as told directly by children lesbian and gay parents.
June 2015 / Pride Parades
A month during which we demonstrated how proud we are about our identities, a mass demonstration of unity taking the stage in squares all over Italy: the campaign symbol is present in almost all of the Italian pride parades.
January 23rd, 2016 / SvegliatiItalia (Italy, Wake UP!) demonstrations
The #lostessosì symbol was part of a national mass demonstration that brought more than 1 million people in 90 Italian cities to gather with the goal of convincing the Italian Parliament to wake up and finally turn Italy into a more civilized country. This extraordinary demonstration during the final days of the civil unions debate was one of the reasons why the law held despite opposing demonstrations (such as the “Family Day” mass gathering).
March 5th, 2016 / “ORA Basta – Diritti alla meta” (“That’s It – Right On”) demonstration
The symbol #lostessosì is also part of the event held in Rome on March 5th in response to the Senate passing the Civil Union law by scratching stepchild adoption rights. Arcigay takes part to the demonstration to stress out that the law needs to be passed, warning at the same time that this is only a “starting point” on the pathway towards full equality.
[June 5th, 2016 / The Bill 76/2016 about Civil Unions becomes law]
July 2016 / LoStessoSì “Collisioni” International Festival
LoStessoSì took part to the International Festival Collisions 2016, in Barolo (Northern Italy), after the festival had suffered heavy homophobic episodes. Thousands of non-LGBTI people were involved. #lostessosì met with dozens of artists who shared the campaign symbol on stage.
October 2016 / “LoStessoSì: i percorsi verso l’uguaglianza” Conference and “Gaybride 2016”
Two-day Conference – After the change of situation brought by the Civil Unions, Arcigay organized a conference to reorganize the campaign, inviting expert speakers, discussing legal and political-institutional implications, as well as communicative and public perception. It was an important opportunity for all the associations involved to reassess campaign strategies and discuss future action.
A stand at Gaybride 2016 – #lostessosì also took part to the LGBTI wedding fair in Bologna, renting a stand among shows, exhibitions, thematic and commercial stands, distributing informational materials on the important of fighting for equal marriage as a right and as a principle.
Arcigay is all about getting together and creating a sense of community. Because of this, in the coming months, a number of initiatives will be implemented to fight in the name of the principle that “either we all have rights, or none of us do”.
The #lostessosì campaign was made possible through the financial contributions of Open Society Initiative for Europe – Open Society Foundations, CILD – Coalizione Italiana Libertà e Diritti and of several private citizens. The #disegnodifamiglia campaign was made possible through a financial contribution of ILGA Europe.