Two former nuns entered a civil union this week in Italy.

Named Federica and Isabel by local media, the women's civil ceremony was officiated by Pinerolo Mayor Luca Salvai, The Telegraph reported.

Italy legalized such unions earlier this year.

“God wants happy people who live love out in the open,” Isabel told La Stampa. “We are asking our church to welcome all people who love each other.”

The women moved up their ceremony by a day to avoid mass media coverage after they gave an interview to La Stampa.

The women said that while they were leaving their convent they were not leaving their faith.

A second religious service will be held for the women in a few weeks. It will be performed by Franco Barbero, a former priest. Pope John Paul II excommunicated Barbero in 2003 for his acceptance of same-sex relationships, including marriage.