An Italian teacher is receiving complaints after he told his young teenaged students that homosexuality is an evil “physical malformation,” or disease, cured by “self-respect.”
According to Italian gay news blog Gayburg, 60-year-old math teacher Armando Baldissin is facing criticism for teaching his eighth grade students a homophobic lesson on sexuality.
Baldissin, who works at the Catholic school La Traccia in the town of Bergamo, gave a lecture titled “Immature and Unfinished Sexuality.”
In the lecture, Baldissin told his male students, “An erotic drive aimed at people of their sex own sex is considered a disease if it involves suffering.” Baldissin added other thoughts such as homosexuality being a “contradiction between the attraction that one feels and the one the body naturally has,” and being “caused by the perception of inadequacy of one self with respect to one’s own sexual identity.”
Baldissin then suggested that if the boys ever feel attraction to another man, they should reach out to a good psychologist. Essentially, Baldissin suggested gay conversion therapy to his 13 and 14-year-old students.
While Italy is considered a gay-friendly country with several protections for LGBTQ people, the country deals with several instances of homophobia like any other. In addition, there is currently no law banning conversion therapy on minors.
After news got out of this lecture, several LGBTQ advocates condemned the lesson by Baldissin and the school for allowing it.
In addition, many have pointed out how La Traccia school receives funding from the government due to state law “guaranteeing an educational project in harmony with the principles of the Constitution.”
Many say that the school should not be supporting lessons so polarizing as Baldissin’s, if government money is involved.
While the school has not responded to the controversy, students say that the program has been canceled.