Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on
Friday criticized the Roman Catholic Church's opposition to a
proposed gay-inclusive civil unions law.
The Senate is expected to vote on the
legislation this week.
On Thursday, the head of the Italian
bishops' conference, Angelo Bagnasco, called on the chamber to allow
a secret ballot on the civil unions bill, arguing that this would
allow lawmakers to vote with their conscience.
“Parliament decides whether or not to
allow secret votes … not the head of the bishops' conference,”
Renzi is quoted by Reuters
as saying on RAI state radio.
“What is there to fear from two
people who love each other? Why not give these rights to two people
who love each other? The majority of the country is clearly in favor
of it,” he added.
Pollsters have found that a majority
(up to 70%) of Italians support some form of legal recognition for
Italy is the only major Western country
that offers gay couples no recognition.
Francis reiterates church's opposition to gay marriage as Italy
debates civil unions.)