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Italy's Meloni rejects criticism from Canada's Trudeau over LGBTQ+ rights at G7 Summit

From left, Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden, Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen participate in a family photo with G7 leaders before their working lunch meeting on economic security during the G7 summit, at the Grand Prince Hotel in Hiroshima on May 20, 2023. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP)

ROME (AP) -- Italy's far-right Premier Giorgia Meloni on Sunday rejected criticism from her Canadian counterpart at the G7 Summit about her government's stance on LGBTQ+ rights.

    A reporter asked Meloni about the criticism at a news conference early Sunday in Hiroshima, Japan, which is hosting the annual summit of leaders from seven of the world's leading industrialized nations.

    On television Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau told Meloni -- right before they began private, bilateral talks during the summit -- that "Canada is concerned about some of the positions Italy is taking on in terms of LGBT rights." He added that he was looking forward to talking with the Italian premier about that.

    Meloni looked annoyed, twiddled her thumbs and listened in silence, while Trudeau switched to French to sum up his English remarks. Then camera operators left the room, and the two leaders commenced their close-door talks.

    Earlier this year, Meloni's government told city halls to stop automatically registering both parents in same-sex couples but instead to limit recognition of parental lights only to the biological parent of the child. Gay rights activists held rallies to denounce the move, calling it homophobic.

    Asked about Trudeau's remark, Meloni said that he had fallen "victim" to "fake news" and propaganda, and even said that that his assessment "doesn't correspond to reality."

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