7 March 2021

A word of advice - if you will - to our LGBT friends. About the lawsuit I suffered

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I am only mentioning this now, after the judge has ordered the case to be filed. I was sued by Alexander Schuster, a well-known member of the Lenford Network-Advocacy for Gay and Lesbian Rights. The subject of the lawsuit was a Facebook post in which I merely quoted (in inverted commas) statements made by a member of Arcilesbica, Giovanna Camertoni, about a stormy evening on the uterus for rent organised in Trento by Arcigay and Famiglie Arcobaleno.

Here is the post:

On the evening of 26 April, an evening entitled "Gpa: beyond prejudice, the story" was held at the Santa Chiara centre in Trento, organised by Arcigay Trentino, Laici Trentino and Famiglie Arcobaleno. 
The evening was co-ordinated by lawyer Alexander Schuster, who is known for having assisted a couple who had used a surrogate mother in Canada and who were granted dual paternity by the Court of Trento in a controversial decision currently before the Supreme Court. 
Guests of the evening Serena Marchi, author of Mine yours theirs. Women who give birth for othersand Nicola Carone, with his Originally the gift. Donors and bearers in the imagination of homogenous families. 
Among the audience was Giovanna Camertoni of Arcilesbica, founder of the Anti-Violence Centre in Trento. 
Camertoni recounts the censorship he suffered as follows: '.I asked several times to speak, but Schuster would not give me the floor. After much insistence, I was given the microphone almost at the end of the evening. I began by recalling Europe's clear positions against the GPA, but Schuster kept interrupting me. I managed to continue my speech by pointing out that even where Gpa is legal, the black market is still being fuelled. I mentioned the case of the Netherlands, where despite regulation the number of couples legally accessing the practice is laughable, while procreative tourism to India is very high. 
At this point, a member of Famiglie Arcobaleno in the audience stood up and ordered me to give the microphone back immediately. Next to him was Paolo Zanella, president of Arcigay Trento. 
In twenty years of active militancy, I have never been intimidated and silenced. Nobody intervened to defend my right to speak, neither Schuster nor the guest writers nor anyone else in the audience. Somehow I still managed to finish my speech. Then the Rainbow Families representative returned to his seat and shouted at me to fuck off. Uncivil and offensive behaviour that, however, no one thought to stigmatise.

Solicited by Arcilesbica, in my post I simply and willingly exercised my right and duty of reporting. But Lawyer Schuster took umbrage.. I invited him to give his version of the facts if Camertoni's did not satisfy him, but Schuster declined the invitation and preferred to file a complaint. Not, as one might have imagined, against Giovanna Camertoni for her report, but against me who had simply reported it at her request.

Schuster's conflict with Camertoni was immediately resolved, while his conflict with me continued in the courtroom. and, as I said, it ended a few days ago with the dismissal. A few months ago, the Preliminary Investigation Judge had already ordered this, but Schuster opposed it, determined to have me sent for trial.

Now: that the complaint had no standing was quite obvious, although nothing is ever certain. But the fact is something else: a possible indictment of me (and for what? for honouring my professional ethics, which requires me to release a news item once in my possession?) in my opinion would have been a boomerang for Schuster, the Lenford Network and the world of LGBT activists. To be precise, a trial against me would necessarily have catalysed the attention of all those who fear that Zan's law against homobi-transphobia (passed in the Chamber and awaiting discussion in the Senate) may pose a danger to the free expression of opinions.

Incidentally - worse - the intention here was not to pursue an opinion, but a simple, completely unvalued account: in short, a chronicle. But in a democracy, the right to report is a rather important thing. I am practising this even now. In fact, if Lawyer Schuster had considered the report defamatory, he should have taken it out on those who had formulated it in the first place, and only secondarily, in this case, on those who had merely reported it, namely me. Instead, perhaps with the reasonable and appreciable intention of not opening conflicts within the LGBT world, Schuster decided to reserve his not benevolent attention to me.

Things ended well, and badly for him. But in my opinion, I repeat, it would have ended worse if I had been indicted. for the reasons I mentioned above: the media would scream the news, the headlines would talk about an attempt at censorship, a gag order and so on, to the detriment of the LGBT cause and the Zan law. Why was this not thought through before the lawsuit was filed and even opposed?

The true nature of the conflict is clearly and nobly political: I have been fighting for years, along with many others, against the surrogate motherhood, while Schuster and the Lenford Network, on the opposite side, defend, with varying degrees of success, the male couples who have resorted to it. But if a conflict is political - and here the reasons are very high - it is about the dignity of women and the non-commerciality of the human: as Schuster would know very well the Constitutional Court in its ruling 272/2017 strengthens the ban contained in Law 40 Article 12, paragraph 6, gives the surrogate mother a".high degree of disvalue"and reiterates that the practice "intolerably offends the dignity of women and deeply undermines human relations"- well, if the nature of the conflict is so highly and exquisitely political perhaps it would be a good idea to stay on the political level and not debase the issue into a lawsuit that could have resulted in a boomerang indictment.

It's good that things turned out this way and we'll see how to deal with it later. But I will say this, if it interests anyone: I am not afraid and I never will be. My fight for women and children, also in compliance with the law in force in our country and all over the world (except for about twenty nations out of more than 200) will never stop.

Marina Terragni

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