ROME (AP) - Two Italian legislators caused an uproar among colleagues in this predominantly Catholic country on Wednesday when they placed dolls representing two gay couples in Parliament's nativity scene.
Bruno Mellano and Donatella Porretti of the small but vocal Radical Party said their gesture was intended to show support for a law that would give unmarried couples, including gays, some of the same rights as married couples. But it prompted swift and stern condemnation from shocked legislators on all sides.
``Vulgar and unacceptable,'' said a statement by women deputies with the rightist, opposition Forza Italia party.
Pro-Vatican politician Rosy Bindi called the move ``a useless provocation against the nativity of the Chamber of Deputies that hurts us as Christians and as citizens of this country,'' in comments carried by the ANSA agency.
The four dolls in question included dolls embracing. They were removed within minutes, according to the ANSA news agency.