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Italy LGBT rights and marriage equality news


Italy’s Government Will Debate Italian Civil Unions in September

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

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from Google Maps

The Parliament will begin debate on a proposed Italian civil unions law in September.

The Local reports:

Italy’s government will begin debating a law on civil unions in September, a move that could give gay couples the same rights as heterosexual married ones, Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has announced. Renzi was quoted in La Repubblica on Tuesday saying “gay rights will be the same as those for married heterosexual couples.” In a move the newspaper described as the “rainbow revolution”, gay couples could be entitled to benefits including inheritance guarantees, welfare assistance and be able to claim a deceased partner’s pension.

Will the Pope and the Vatican stand in the way? Pope Francis has seemed to indicate on several occasions that the church could accept civil unions.

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Could Italy Transgender Marriage Case Bring Civil Unions to the Country?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

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from Google Maps

A case in Italy of a transgender woman who stayed married to her wife after she transitioned is making waves in the country after a Constitutional Court decision.

The Daily Beast reports:

Now the Italian state is facing a perplexing dilemma. By allowing the Alessandra Bernarolis to stay married, it essentially has given the green light to civil unions. In its ruling last week, the high court said it was aiming to balance “the State’s interest in not changing the model of heterosexual marriage with the interest of the couple where one of the two components changes sex.” The court also asked Italian lawmakers to explore an “alternative” form of marriage to accommodate such same-sex couples.

Italy has been inching away from the Catholic Church’s insistence not to recognize same-sex unions for months. The mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, even went so far as to hang rainbow-colored Christmas lights across Rome to support LGBT rights this year, and he marched in last week’s Gay Pride parade, promising a civil union registry for gays who marry abroad in Rome soon, in direct defiance of the Vatican’s conservative views. Still, the country has a long way to go. The Italian parliament has not been able to pass an anti-discrimination law for gays and lesbians despite several attempts. Adoption is not granted to same-sex couples. “We need to put pressure on parliament so Italy can overcome the shame of lagging behind the rest of the European Union,” Marino told revelers at the parade.

It’s rare that the fight for transgender rights advances ahead of the fight for marriage equality. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if this case helped bring about both?

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Italian Court Rules in Favor of Transgender Marriage

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Italy Transgender WomanA transgender woman who had her marriage to another woman annulled after she transitioned has won her case.

Pink News reports:

A landmark ruling has been made in the case of a trans woman whose marriage was dissolved despite her and her wife wishing to stay together, to say that the annulment was unconstitutional, despite the country having no legal recognition of same-sex marriages. Alessandra Bernaroli, 43, maintained that her marriage of nine years was strong and she and her wife wished to remain married. Her local marriage registry dissolved the marriage because it would not acknowledge a same-sex marriage.

The Constitutional Court on Tuesday began hearing the case, and said it had aimed to balance “the State’s interest in not changing the model of heterosexual marriage…and the interest of the couple where one of the two components changes sex”. In its ruling, the court suggested that politicians should consider introducing “an alternative form” of marriage.

Will this ruling open the door to some kind of legal recognition of same sex couples in Italy?

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Italy: Rome Civil Unions Registry Planned, Mayor Says

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Tpme Mayor Ignazio MarinoFollowing in the footsteps of a similar plan in Naples, the mayor of Rome announced that the city will created a Rome civil unions registry.

On Top Magazine reports:

Ignazio Marino, the mayor of Rome, on Saturday announced he would back plans for a civil union registry and the registration of gay couples’ foreign marriages. According to the blog Agere per Formulas, Marino made his announcement moments before the start of Rome’s Gay Pride Parade, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The news comes after Fano late last month became the first Italian town to register the marriage of a gay couple without a court order and Luigi De Magistris, the mayor of Naples, signaled his willingness to register the foreign marriages of gay couples.

Italy’s big cities are starting to come around to LGBT rights – will the federal government come around too?

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Naples Mayor Will Register Same Sex Marriages

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Naples Mayor Luigi de MagistrisAn Italian mayor, Naples mayor Luigi De Magistris, says he would recognize the weddings of gay and lesbian couples married in other countries.

On Top Magazine reports:

Luigi De Magistris, the mayor of Naples, Italy, has signaled his willingness to register the foreign marriages of gay and lesbian couples. The news, provided by the blog Agere per Formulas, comes after Fano on Friday became the first Italian town to register the marriage of a gay couple without a court order.

It’s another crack in the wall of Catholic-dominated Italy’s homophobic culture.

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Another Italian Town Recognizes Gay Couple; Italian Gay Activists Profiled

Friday, May 30th, 2014

The Italian town of Fano is recognizing the marriage of a gay couple. reports:

Last month an Italian court legally recognized a married gay couple for the first time in the country. Now the town of Fano is following suit and recognizing the marriage of Fausto Schermi and Edwin Van Dijck in the City Registry. City mayor/registrar Stefano Aguzzi authorized the recognition and is the first mayor in Italy to do so; it will also be his last action as mayor of Fano on May 30.

We’re thrilled for the happy couple – one more small step in Italy.

Meanwhile, David Mixner at takes a look at the marriage equality fight and profiles Italian gay activists:

Matteo Pegoraro

Another bright light is youthful Matteo Pegoraro (right) who hails from Solesino. He is active at both the grassroots and political levels and expressed impatience with Italy’s slow progress. When asked about then new young Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo told me:

I admit I’m still pretty doubtful. So far, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has given priority to constitutional reforms to reduce public spending and groped to boost employment, but no word yet from the Italian government on the protection of LGBT people. However, hope is the last to die, and I really hope that this Prime Minister can listen to the voices of our community and strive to make a better Italy through raising awareness and social welfare, which starts from the total recognition of fundamental rights.

Of course, one of the main stumbling blocks to marriage equality in Italy is the Vatican.

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Italy: Catholic Bishop Says Church Should Be More Accepting of Gays

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Florence ChurchAn Italian Bishop, Nunzio Galantino, the secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference, wants the church to be more welcoming to gays.

Think Progress reports:

Nunzio Galantino, the secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference (CEI) and bishop of the southern diocese of Cassano all’Jonio, reportedly told a Florence-based newspaper on Tuesday that Italian church leaders should embrace the more liberal path paved by Pope Francis and pay closer attention to progressive religious arguments. “With Pope Francis the Italian Church has an extraordinary opportunity to reposition itself on spiritual moral and cultural beliefs,” Galantino said. “My wish for the Italian Church is that it is able to listen without any taboo to the arguments in favor of married priests, the Eucharist for the divorced, and homosexuality.” The Italian bishop, who Pope Francis permanently appointed as secretary-general of the CEI last month, echoed the pontiff’s belief that the Catholic church is too “obsessed” with debates over abortion and same-sex marriage.

Is the Catholic Church finally softening its stance on LGBT issues?

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Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: My Gay Friendly Italy, Torino, Italy

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

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Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Italy

Italy: Central Italian Town Votes for Marriage Equality

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Antonio Garullo and Mario Ottocento

A small town just south of Rome has voted to support recognition of a same sex couple’s wedding. reports:

Antonio Garullo and Mario Ottocento [pictured] were the first Italian gay couple to be married more than 10 years ago in Holland. In 2004 they asked the Ufficio dello Stato Civile of the Comune of Latina to register their marriage but their application was turned down. So the couple sued theComune of Latina, but in 2005 the Tribunale of latina rejected their complaint. Then they appealed the Court decision to the Court of Appeal of Rome where they found a second denial. Eventually the couple appealed the second negative decision to the Supreme Court of Cassation. In 2012 this court rejected their appeal but delivered a landmark opinion for LGBT rights. That Court said that the Italian laws should treat gay and straight couple equally. Antonio and Mario asked the Comune of Latina to record their marriage on April 15 and this afternoon the Council of the Latina approved in a 14-2 vote (1 absentee) a motion in support of the record of their marriage.

It’s now up to the Italian Government to decide whether to approve Latina’s request.

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Italy: Judge Orders City Council to Recognize Gay Couple’s New York Wedding

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Italy Gay CoupleSome big news out of Italy – for the first time, a gay couple’s wedding will be recognized by a local government in the country. reports:

An Italian court today recognized a gay couple as married for the first time in Italy, AFP reports: The court in Grosseto in Tuscany ordered the city council to list the couple, who had their wedding in New York in 2012, as married in a ruling that was immediately hailed by gay rights campaigners as historic. “This is an unprecedented case in our country,” Sergio Lo Giudice, a senator for the Democratic Party and a former head of the watchdog Arcigay, told reporters… Grosseto judge Claudio Boccini ruled that there was “no reference to gender” in the city council register of married couples and the couple in question should therefore be included.

It’s a long way from full marriage equality, but it is a crack in the wall in this very Catholic country.

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