On 13 January 1998 the Sicilian poet Alfredo Ormando committed suicide setting himself on fire in St. Peter Square to denounce the anti–homosexual repression of the Vatican. The Catholic church has not changed his attitude toward gay and lesbians so far; the other principal religions have manifested an equal censorship towards GLBT rights: in 1999 in France Muslims, Catholics and even Jewish have bemoaned against PACS.
–We want to transform the celebration on January 13 into an occasion for the creation of a dialogue between homosexuals and representatives of all religious beliefs - reports Fabrizio Marrazzo, Arcigay national responsible for the fight against homophobia on religious basis - We have to find new ways leading towards a lay, plural and multicultural society, inclusive of all differences. A permanent council for the dialogue between religions and homosexuals will start working soon.–
During the day two events will take place: the traditional sit–in in Piazza Pio XII (near St. Peter Square) and this year for the first time an international meeting.