Matteo Renzi, Italy's prime
minister-designate, is a strong advocate for gay rights.
The 39-year-old Renzi, the mayor of
Florence since 2009 and the head of Italy's Democratic Party, on
Monday told reporters that he would begin talks to form a new
government after meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano.
“I was instructed by the president to
form a new government,” Renzi told reporters during a press
conference. “I agreed, as you know, with reserve, out of a sense
of responsibility, and because of the importance of this challenge.
I thanked the president and assured him that I'd put all my energy
and commitment into this difficult situation.”
Italy's economy remains mired in a
long-term slump marked by high unemployment and debt.
The blog Agere
per Formulas reported in December that Renzi backs a proposal
which would grant gay and lesbian couples all the rights and
obligations of marriage. However, the bill would not allow gay
couples to adopt children.
The Democratic Party, along with Five
Star Movement and Forza Italia, is one of Italy's three major
political parties. Five Star Movement has previously endorsed
marriage equality, but the Silvio Berlusconi-led center-right Forza
Italia remains opposed.
Mayor Ignazio Marino: Gay couples in love should marry.)