Venice's new mayor has been heavily criticised for his decision to ban books dealing with homosexuality from the city's schools.
Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has banned a total of 49 books covering homosexuality and discrimination from schools, fulfilling one of his campaign promises.
Books banned include a French book titled 'Jean Has Two Mums', a story of a wolf family where the cub has two mothers.
Brugnaro has defended himself, saying he will "not be intimidated" by the criticism, which has taken the form of groups organising public readings of the banned books, and public libraries actively encouraging visitors to read them.
He added: "Parents need to educate their children on these things, not schools."
According to a statement posted on Brugnaro's website, authorities have collected all the books in question from across the city's schools, and will "verify" them to make sure they are "suitable for preschoolers".
Books that deal with religious, racial or disability-related discrimination have been collected by authorities for analysis, but the statement says they will "certainly be redistributed" at some point.
However, he said that books that deal with homosexuality may be kept out of school libraries for good.
The Mayor's statement criticised the "cultural arrogance" of previous administrations, that have introduced the banned books into schools "without asking anything to anyone, especially to families."
Any type of same-sex union, whether civil partnership or full marriage, is not recognised in Italy and unobtainable in the country.
For years there has been a push to make the government introduce civil unions, a cause that has received a boost recently following the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Ireland and the USA.
However, it has been met by a backlash from other groups, who see an introduction of same-sex unions as an affront to traditional Italian values.
The Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, supports the cause, and Italy's senate is currently looking a a bill which Renzi hopes will allow same-sex partnerships by the end of July.
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