A demonstration Saturday in Rome to
protest a proposed bill that would recognize gay and lesbian couples
with civil unions in Italy attracted tens of thousands of people.
According to The Guardian, the
rally, dubbed “family day,” was backed by the Roman Catholic
Italy is the only major Western country
that offers gay couples no recognition.
The Senate began debating the
gay-inclusive civil unions bill on Thursday.
The following day, the Italian Bishops
Conference said that it was concerned about the “process under way
of putting marriage and civil unions on the same level – with the
introduction of an alternative to the family.”
Last week, Pope
Francis reiterated the church's opposition to marriage equality.
The Senate is expected to vote on the
legislation in February.