Legislation which would recognize gay
and lesbian couples with civil unions was introduced this week in the
MP Monica Cirinna (pictured above), a
member of Italy's Democratic Party (Partito Democratico),
introduced the measure on Tuesday, June 24, the blog Agere
per Formulas reported.
Cirinna said she hopes her legislation
will be approved “before the end of the year.”
The proposal has the support of Prime
Minister Matteo Renzi, the head of Italy's Democratic Party.
If the measure is approved, couples who
register for a civil union will be granted all the rights and
obligations of marriage, with the exception of limited adoption
rights. Civil unioned couples will be allowed to adopt each other's
children, but not jointly adopt a child.
The bill would also create a
“cohabitation contract” with limited benefits available to
same-sex and opposite-sex couples.
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.