ITALY: Civil Unions Bill Introduced

Italy’s long-awaited civil unions bill was at last introduced today in the upper chamber of the national legislature. Reuters reports:

Italy is the only major country in the West that has not yet offered homosexual couples any legal rights as successive governments ran into determined opposition from parties close to the Roman Catholic Church. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had promised that a bill allowing civil unions would become law this year, but that looks highly unlikely, with his main coalition partner, a small centre-right group, fiercely opposed to the project.

However, looking to speed up the process, the government on Wednesday briefly presented its bill to the upper house Senate, a move which could open the way for its approval in early 2016. “We are finally here with a civil union bill that is very strong,” said Senator Monica Cirinna, author of the text. “It is not exactly equal to other marriages, which I would have preferred, but it is a bill that recognises all social rights,” she told Reuters. While stopping short of sanctioning full gay marriages, the legislation offers some of the benefits enjoyed by married couples, such as a share of a deceased partner’s pension and automatic inheritance.

The bill is expected to pass easily once it finally gets a vote. But expect shenanigans until then.

  • crewman

    It is not exactly equal to other marriages, which I would have preferred, but it is a bill that recognises all social rights.

    So is this the “domestic partnership” compromise we saw in many places in the US?

    • KDS

      It is, with no adoption rights. But it is doomed anyway.

      • Todd20036

        I love how the haters in the US tried to offer civil unions as a compromise AFTER we won full marriage rights at the SCOTUS level

  • geoffalnutt

    The Holy Mob (The Catlick Church) will do its best, I’m sure – to kill it.

  • radiofreerome

    The Vatican is afraid it will go bankrupt paying alimony to altar boys.

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    It is a start.

    • KDS

      It might very well be the end of it in Italy.

      • GanymedeRenard

        Because?

        • KDS

          This was a last ditch attempt to pass a law. In the future it will be harder to pass similar laws because of the new electoral law and because there’s no drive anymore for such laws from the gay community.

          • GanymedeRenard

            That’s sad. But don’t give up!

  • SFHarry

    Italy, the Mississippi of Europe.

    • TheManicMechanic

      At least the food is better.

      • SFHarry

        What!? You don’t like fried possum and taters.

        • radiofreerome

          In Italy, the joke is:
          Why did the Friulian family starve to death? They lost the string they used to cut the polenta.

          It seems poverty is universally funny.

          • BobSF_94117

            Jokes about Friuli aren’t about poverty. Friuli is part of one of the richest, most productive regions in Italy. They’re made fun of because they’re linguistically (very) and ethnically (somewhat) different from other northern Italians (and others in Friuli Venezia Giulia) and mostly because they like to think of themselves as different. It doesn’t help that the language is incomprehensible to Italians.

            Italians make fun of them because they eat more corn (polenta) and rice than pasta.

          • SFHarry

            Are the Friulians as ignorant and mean spirited as the particular Southerners I am Mocking?

  • KDS

    The bill is doomed.It will never become law.

    • ChrisMorley

      You keep saying that and it’s tired. Trolling?

      • KDS

        I kept saying this for sixteen years, actually.

        • MattM

          People who don’t understand Italian society and culture assume your comments are made from a place of apathy. But I know it’s from frustration. Italy is proud of its bigotry and doesn’t want to change.

          • KDS

            Thank you. You are exactly right.

          • MattM

            Before I went to Italy to live (for a sort period of time, thankfully), mom gave me her Frommers guide to Italy that dated to 2007, two years before I went. And in it there was a paragraph dedicated to warning gay travelers not to show any “gayness” or PDAs towards same sex partners in public. They warned said displays could and would incite negative responses, both verbal and physical. In a friggin Frommers guide, which is intended for the broadest audience possible.
            You know things are bad when even guides for the predominantly heterosexual tell you to town down your faggotry.

          • ken

            I’ve lived in Italy for 15 years and have no problem showing affection to my bf or otherwise “being gay”. This holds true both in Milan, where I live, and various smaller towns around the country where we have friends and family.

  • Italy has a cancer at its heart and it’s called the Vatican.

  • Robert W. Pierce

    Will be interesting to see if Greece beats them to it.

    • KDS

      Possible but I doubt it will happen any time soon.

    • KnownDonorDad

      It would also be nice if Germany (read: Merkel) got their act together.

      • wineflask

        Otoh, the current German law is better than the proposed Italian one.

  • Blake Jordan

    The RCC, et. al. fight against this watered down civil marriage bill will serve as further proof that it is not about “protecting marriage”, but stopping any civil rights for LGBTs.

    • Yup…thy claim that they are not anti-gay but only in favor of “defending marriage” but even when the term marriage isn’t used thy still oppose it. they just don’t have the guts to admit to the scope of their true agenda.

      • Todd20036

        It’s the same reason why groups like FotF or NOM, while claiming to be all about marriage, are even against gays being added to the Civil Rights Act, much less are against federally recognized civil unions.

        • Betty Seward

          my collaborator’s stride mother makes $97/hr on the web…….…..Last weekend I Bought A Brand new McLaren F1 after earning 18,512$,this was my last month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k last-month .No-doubt about it, this really is the most comfortable work I have ever had . I began this 8-months ago and pretty much immediately was bringing home at least $97, p/h…..Learn More right Here.
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  • This is a very important step. Still not as much as is needed but a huge step in the right direction and a big improvement over the current situation.

  • 2patricius2

    “expect shenanigans…” Translation: “expect vaticananigans…”

  • GanymedeRenard

    I can’t wait to see what the Poop has to say about this.

  • MattM

    I won’t hold my breath. Italy is a surprisingly homophobic country, even amongst the youth. I had a relative (who didn’t know I was gay and were only a year older than I) apologize to me for the presence of homosexuals at a party we were at. And once said relative found out I was gay, they cut off contact with me.
    And after living in Italy for a period of time, it’s safe to say said relative was not alone I their bigotry. The things you hear would turn your stomach.

  • Octavio

    Little steps. Little steps. 🙂

    • billbear1961

      VERY little, apparently.

      But better than NO recognition or rights AT ALL.

    • Paul

      If this was 2001, I’d agree with you. But it’s 2015 for goodness sakes.

      • Octavio

        Yeah, and it’s also Italy. Some places are slower to change than others for obvious reasons.

        • Paul

          Polls show a majority of Italians support ME.

          • Octavio

            Why are they supporting you? They should be supporting equal marriage. 🙂

          • Paul

            😛

  • Tempus Fuggit

    It is not exactly equal to other marriages

    • billbear1961

      No civil union is–THAT’S the problem.

  • billbear1961

    “Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had promised that a bill allowing civil unions would become law this year, but that looks highly unlikely, with his main coalition partner, a small centre-right group, fiercely opposed to the project.”

    “The bill is expected to pass easily once it finally gets a vote.”

    What does this mean, exactly? It won’t pass THIS year, but WILL in 2016?

    It has already been approved by the LOWER house, right?

  • Betty Seward

    my collaborator’s stride mother makes $97/hr on the web…….…..Last weekend I Bought A Brand new McLaren F1 after earning 18,512$,this was my last month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k last-month .No-doubt about it, this really is the most comfortable work I have ever had . I began this 8-months ago and pretty much immediately was bringing home at least $97, p/h…..Learn More right Here.
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