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Italy’s PM yanks post from deputy minister following anti-gay remarks

MILAN — Italy’s premier has removed the equal opportunities deputy minister from her post after she said gays invited discrimination by "ghettoizing" themselves.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta said in a statement Saturday that he was revoking Michaela Biancofiore’s position in the equal opportunity, sports and youth politics ministry — less than 24 hours after being sworn in to the new coalition government — and would assign her to another government role.

The two-line statement gave no reason for the shakeup, but Italian media said the move was linked to interviews in which Biancofiore criticized gay rights groups for defending their own interests and not protesting the murders of women or speaking out for police injured in the line of duty.

Letta heads a cross-party government of long-time political foes, formed after February elections ended with no clear winner.

He has urged ministers to behave “soberly.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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