Matteo Renzi, the newly-elected leader
of Italy's Democratic Party, on Sunday proposed recognizing gay and
lesbian couples with civil partnerships.
Renzi, the mayor of Florence since
2009, was elected last week to lead the Democratic Party, winning
67.6 percent of the vote. Rivals Gianni Cuperlo and Giuseppe Civati
received 18.2 and 14.2 percent, respectively.
The Democratic Party, along with Five
Star Movement and Forza Italia, is one of Italy's three major
Speaking to a party assembly, Renzi,
38, backed the country's ruling coalition government and called for
immigration reforms and simplification of the nation's labor laws to
increase employment, Reuters reported.
According to the blog Agere
per Formulas, Renzi's proposal would grant gay couples all the
rights and obligations of marriage. However, the bill would not
allow gay couples to adopt children.
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.)