Italy's antigay conservative nominee to become the European Union's justice and home affairs commissioner on Monday failed to win the backing of the European Parliament's justice committee, an EU official said. The panel narrowly failed to endorse Rocco Buttiglione, who is currently Italy's European affairs minister, said Jean-Louis Bourlanges, chairman of the justice committee.
During a confirmation hearing last week, Buttiglione faced a barrage of hostile questions over his conservative religious and moral views. He vowed to defend the rights of gays but told the justice and home affairs committee he considers homosexuality a sin. The "no" vote created something of a stalemate, as Buttiglione has already won the backing from another assembly panel, the legal affairs committee.
In the past two weeks the European Parliament held confirmation hearings for 25 men and women who have been named by their governments to serve on the next EU executive commission, which begins work November 1 under incoming commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, the former Portuguese prime minister. The nominated commissioners have also faced questioning by individual parliamentary committees.