Suicide of gay boy investigated

(ANSA) - Rome, August 13 - The suicide of a gay 14-year-old boy is under investigation as police try to determine if he was bullied or pushed to the point of taking his own life, authorities said Tuesday.

Police are concerned that the boy who jumped from the roof of his family's apartment building sometime on the night of August 7 may have been driven to such drastic action by taunters.

In a letter to his father, the boy asked that 12 friends, including 10 girls, be told about his death, but said nothing about bullies.

Police say they want to interview the 12 to get a better sense of what happened.

His parents said they had no idea anything was wrong with the boy the night he died.

"My son and I were watching TV...and decided to give ourselves an early night," his father told authorities.

The problem may stem from intense societal pressure to fit in, said Italy's ombudsman for children and adolescents.

"Because he was gay, and he was ashamed of it," said Vincenzo Spadafora.

A controversial law against gay bashing has been under debate and Spadafora said that the legislation would be welcome, but more support from society is needed.

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