venerdì 14 marzo 2014

Italy to debate recognition of same-sex unions

On March 12, the Chairman of the Justice Committee of the Italian Senate, Nitto Palma (Forza Italia), proposed to start the discussion over the recognition of same-sex relationships. 

Italian MPs have already submitted a lot of bills which have the aim to recognize same-sex unions via marriage, civil unions or cohabitation agreement. 

The bill which is backed by the Italian PM Matteo Renzi (Democratic Party) was submitted on December 19 and then assigned to the Justice Committee of the Italian Senate on January 22.

This bill (SB 1211) will establish two National Register - one for 'Civil unions' an one for 'Cohabitation Agreements'. Same-sex couples who desire to have their union recognized must apply for a civil union or for a cohabitation agreement (opposite-sex couples would have only the possibility to apply for a cohabitation agreement). A same-sex couple who will apply for a civil union would have almost of the rights of marriage (except for joint adoption). 

In these days some MPs of the same party of the PM Matteo Renzi, submitted another bill (SB 1231) which will provide only civil unions for same-sex couples. This form of civil union is identical to marriage but differ from it for the exception of joint adoption rights. 

On March 4 the content of SB 1211 was sum up by its lecturer, MP Monica Cirinnà (Democratic Party).

Some important facts to bear in mind:
Italian Politics
1) Last year Italians went to the polls and elect a new parliament. The flawed and biased electoral law made up by Berlusconi didn't give a stable majority to the center-left.

2) The main center-left party (Democratic Party) and Berlusconi and his party (PDL) decided to form a new government and then re-elect Giorgio Napolitano as Italian President (it never happened before). 

3) After the re-election of Napolitano the Secretary of the Democratic Party, Pierluigi Bersani, resigned and Enrico Letta  was chosen by Napolitano to form a new Cabinet.

4) In August 2013 the Supreme Court of Cassation upheld a tax-fraud conviction and a four-year jail sentence against Berlsuconi.

5) Afterwards Berlusconi decided to withdraw his party from the government. His allied ministers disagreed with their leader decision (it never happened before) and then they formed a new party  - New Center-Right (NCD). PDL was disassembled and reborn Forza Italia. 

6)  While the crisis in the center-right  arose, the Democratic party held primaries and Matteo Renzi was elected as new secretary of the party.

7) In February 2014  Renzi was sworn in as new PM due to the political crisis arose in the Democratic party after the election of Renzi.

LGBT rights:
1) Italy does not have a public recognition of  same-sex unions. It remains the last founding country of Europe not to have such a recognition. 

2) Despite this same-sex couples enjoy some rights as cohabitants. Therefore some comuni (plural form of comune, the basic administrative entity of Italy) have established the Civil Register of Civil Unions which grant only a symbolic recognition. 

4) There were many attempts in order to recognize same-sex unions but none was successful.  The first attempt is dated back to 1986. 

5) There is a strong possibility that we will see the approval of a legislation. Renzi managed to create a new electoral law in a month after 8 years of discussion between the center-left and the center-right.

3) In 1982 Italy became the third country in the world to recognize the right of a person to change his or her legal gender after a sex reassignment surgery. This law is challenged before the Constitutional Court. 

4) Marriage and adoption rights are backed by at least two parties: Sel and M5S. Then there're a lot of MPS who are in favor who belong to all the parties which have a seat in the Parliament. 

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