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.

(Related: Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino: Gay couples in love should marry.)