Thousands of demonstrators took to the
streets on Saturday in support of a bill that would recognize gay and
lesbian couples with civil unions in Italy.
Demonstrations were held in almost 100
towns and cities across Italy, according to Reuters.
Italy is the only major Western country
that offers gay couples no recognition.
Liliana Rizzo, a member of an LGBT
parents' group, joined a rally outside the Pantheon in Rome. “In
Italy people think that there are those who are allowed to have
rights and those who aren't,” she said.
“We don't want to take anything away
from the traditional families … but our families also exist, our
children exist and our children need to have both of their parents
recognized,” she added.
Francis reiterates church's opposition to gay marriage as Italy
debates civil unions.)
The Senate is expected to begin debate
on the bill Thursday.
Opponents of the bill are planning a
Saturday, January 30 demonstration in Rome dubbed “Family Day.”