Italian Senate Passes ‘Watered Down’ Civil Unions Bill After Religious Opposition Wins Concessions


The powerful anti-gay religious right embedded within the Italian government managed to weaken a bill that will allow minimal legal recognition of same-sex unions.

Italy's Senate today passed a bill Premier Matteo Renzi is calling "historic," but LGBT civil rights groups are not satisfied. If it passes the lower house, the Camera dei Deputati, or Chamber of Deputies, it will afford same-sex couples the most basic legal recognitions – and the least in all of Western Europe. Today's vote was 173-71.

Italy's strong religious right managed to wedge concessions into the bill, tossing out the ability for same-sex couples to legally adopt children.

In doing so, Italy's "center-right claimed a victory for having whittled down the original text," the AP reports.

"We prevented an anthropological revolution against nature," interior minister Angelino Alfano (photo) bragged. Alfano is also the head of Italy's New Center-Right party.

LGBT groups expressed disappointment.

"We are outraged, angry, disappointed," Marilena Grassadonia, president of Rainbow Families told the AP. "We can't believe that in 2016 ... in a country like Italy which is so proud to be part of this Europe, that it's possible to make a law on civil unions without considering children who should be protected as Italian citizens and discriminated minors."

She added, "they have sold off our children for a deal."

Labeling the legislation "watered-down," The Guardian called it "a bittersweet victory for advocates of LGBT rights," but notes had the bill failed, "Renzi would have had to resign."

Earlier this month, Italian Senator Roberto Formigoni posted this tweet predicting the bill would fail.

He is now being excoriated by some on Twitter and online for its message, which some are calling homophobic and a representation of the environment against same-sex couples by some lawmakers in Italy:

Other responses to today's passage, via Twitter:



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