Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino on Saturday
registered the foreign marriages of 16 gay and lesbian couples.
Italy does not recognize the unions of
gay couples, though Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged to
introduce a civil unions bill.
Moments before the start of Rome's 20th
annual Gay Pride Parade in June, Marino announced his administration
would register the foreign marriages of gay couples.
According to the AP, Interior Minister
Angelino Alfano has warned that such registrations would be voided.
Marino transcribed the date and
locations of each couple's wedding in Rome's city ledger during a
reception held at city hall, located within walking distance of the
“[T]he most important right is to say
to your companion 'I love you' and to have that be recognized,”
Roughly 70 activists protested outside,
Marino, a prominent transplant surgeon
who was elected mayor of Rome last year, discussed his support for
marriage equality during a HuffPost
“By training I am a surgeon. I see
either black or white,” Marino said. “A few weeks ago a lot of
people were surprised, because they asked me the same question. And
what I answer is, 'Look I believe that if a couple loves each other,
they should get married.' I don't see where the problem is.”