lunedì 16 giugno 2014

Italian Government to step in the Civil Union debate from September

Matteo Renzi - Italian Prime Minister
According to the Democratic Party newspaper, L'Unità, the Italian Government will introduce a bill that will grant to same-sex couples the same rights and duties afforded to married opposite-sex couples. 

The flamboyant Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi (Democratic Party) promised for the second time the recognition of same-sex couples at celebration for the historic win at the European election (if you look at the picture you can recognize the result - 40.8%). According to L'Unità, the Italian Government - which is a great coalition government - will introduce a Civil Union bill for same-sex couples the next September.    

The same promise was made, if you remember, in December when Matteo Renzi was elected as the new secretary of the Italian Democratic Party. Now we will remember you what happened afterwards. First some Democratic MPs introduce the Civil Union and Cohabitation bill which would have grant to same-sex couples the same rights and duties afforded to married opposite-sex couples, then the Italian Senate assigned to the Justice Committee the bill and finally the same Committee tabled the debate over the recognition of same-sex couples and cohabitants. 

Monica Cirinnà
Later in May, after having carefully considered others bills relating to this issue, the supervisor, Monica Cirinnà ( Democratic Party), stated that she was ready to introduce a unified version of the bills which were took in consideration1

Due to the fact that the L'Unità didn't retrace this path as we did, it's easy to think that the Italian Government won't introduce a bill next September, but maybe, it will support the bill that Cirinnà has not showed yet. 

The bill that we will see in September won't be so different from the one which was introduced last December.

Last week the Italian Constitutional Court found unconstitutional a law that doesn't grant the same rights and duties of marriage to a married straight couple in which at least one of the spouses changes his or her legal gender and then see their marriage dissolved. The same court urged the Parliament to act immediately.

Italy is the last Europe founding state not to have recognized same-sex couples. Even Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary fare better than Italy on this issue. Malta, where divorce was not legal until 2011, legalized civil unions in April. 

In 1976 the Italian Constitutional Court gave the green light to the Parliament to legislate on the matter of cohabitation but we had waited a decade to see the start of the debate when, in 1986, a MP of the Italian Communist Party introduced a bill that regulated such a situation. Later other MPs followed suit but no bill was voted. In 2007 the Italian Government (center-left) tried to introduce a bill that would have regulated cohabitation but some Ministers and MPs that supported the Government threatened to leave the majority (the Catholic Church and even Pope Benedict XVI stepped in the debate and did all they could to block the bill). 

According to a survey released in late January, 78% of Italians backs the recognition of same-sex couples, 47% the right to marry and only 28% adoption for same-sex couples.   

---- Notes-----
1 According to the Italian laws, when a bill is introduced, the President of the Assembly (whether the Chamber of deputies or the Senate) assigns the bill to a Committee; then the Committee works on that bill - and on the others bills that maybe others Mps have introduced - and finally the Committee refers the final work to the floor. Finally the bill receive receives 3 votes - usually on the same day -  and then pass to the other assembly.

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