This year, Italy has seen a number of city officials – including the Mayor of Rome –officially recognise the weddings of gay and lesbian couples overseas, despite threats from the government not to do so.
However, they will now be forced to stop doing so, and to strip existing same-sex spouses of their legal rights.
This ruling comes after Italian Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano took the issue to the Council of State – Italy’s highest administrative court.
Alfano told the Gazzetta del Sud:
Last year my circular banning the transcription of gay marriages contracted abroad drew controversy, sometimes even violent aggression and a hail of appeals.
Now the Council of State has borne me out entirely: marriage between two people of the same sex is not contemplated under Italian law, therefore the transcriptions made by local mayors are illegal and monitoring is the competence of the prefect. Very good.”
Italy has poor provisions for LGBT people party due to the strong influence of the Catholic Church, with no country-wide recognition of same-sex couples at present.
A civil unions bill was recently tabled in the country’s Parliament, but is yet to come to a vote. Same-sex marriage has been emphatically ruled out.
The new proposed law would offer some, but not all, of the benefits of marriage.
Included in the law would be partial pension rights, automatic inheritance and would enable same-sex partners to adopt each other’s children, if the child only has one legal parent.
However, some have slammed it as a poor compromise.