'Gay' baby triggers row
Posters of a rosy, puffy cheeked newborn baby have provoked controversy in Italy because the infant is shown wearing a wristband name-tag with the word "homosexual" written on it.
The photograph of the baby is part of a anti-discrimination campaign launched by Tuscany's regional government and is accompanied by the slogan: "Sexual orientation is not a choice."
"Homosexuality is not a vice and hence should not be condemned nor marginalised, or worse still persecuted," the Tuscany region's civil rights councillor Agostino Fragai told Milan-daily Corriere della Sera in a interview published.
Thousands of copies of the poster have been printed, and will go up on city walls and public offices around Tuscany with the sponsorship of Italy's centre-left government's Equal Opportunities Ministry.
But while Italy's main gay rights group Arcigay said the campaign proved "Tuscany is at the forefront, and the rest of Italy should follow it," conservative politicians have condemned it.
"Exploiting newborns to suggest that homosexual tendencies are innate is a misleading and shameful act," said Lucio Volonte a leading parliamentarian for the Union of Christian Democrats.
Some gay groups are also dismayed with the campaign.
Gianni Vattimo, an Italian philosopher, gay rights activist and European Parliament member described the campaign "excessive".
The slogan "is too biology-centric. Of course for a homosexual it is natural to be gay, but I'm not too sure it is determined by genetics", Vattimo said.