Teenage boy removed from mother's care for being "provocatively effeminate"

Social services reported that the 13-year-old had turned up to school wearing nail varnish and eye shadow

Teenage boy removed from mother's care for being "provocatively effeminate"

[Flickr/Katie Lee Photography

A court in Italy has decreed that a 13-year-old boy be removed from his mother’s care, ruling that having “almost exclusively female role models” has left him with a “personality disorder.”

The ruling, made by Venice’s Court for Minors, states that the teenager’s behaviour can be viewed as “effeminate in a provocative way,” while claiming that his upbringing has left him trying “in every way that he is different,” The Local reports.

Social workers in Padua concluded that the boy, identified only as Marco, is suffering from a “personality disorder” and claim that he has become so dependent on his mother that he struggles to form relationships with other people. The report also outlined an incident that saw the boy turning up at school wearing nail varnish and eye shadow, which his mother argued in court was for a Halloween party.

Social services also reported that Marco’s “emotional world appeared tied almost exclusively to female figures and the relationship with the mother appeared characterised by aspects of addition.” The court heard a complaint had previously been filed against the boy’s mother for denying his father visitation, amid her accusations that Marco’s father was sexually abusive.

Media backlash

The judge, Maria Teresa Rossi, ruled that the boy’s current home is denying him a constitutional right to “full development as a person.”

Marco must now spend 12 hours a day, from 7am to 7pm, in a “youth community” to gain a sense of independence from his mother.

After the case caused controversy in Italian media, the judge denied that her ruling to impose the partial removal order was because Marco was perceived as being “camp.”

“The court does not impose the distance due to an alleged effeminate attitude. We have no preconceptions [relating to Marco’s sexual orientation].”

A member of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the country’s parliament, was critical of the court’s decision. Alessandro Zan, a member of the Democratic Party and a leading LGBT activist in Italy, said he had submitted an urgent request to the government demanding accountability for those involved in all aspects of Marco’s case.

“When discrimination comes from those who are meant to protect us, we cannot help but wonder when and where the system of state guarantees stopped working,” Zan said.

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