mercoledì 25 giugno 2014

Civil Union bill introduced

Monica Cirinnà
On June 24 Monica Cirinnà, Democratic MP, introduced the "Regulation of civil unions between same-sex couples and discipline of cohabitation" bill in the Italian Senate. The bill aims to recognize for the first time same-sex relationships as civil unions.

The bill which Cirinnà introduced on Tuesday is an unified version of many bills that were filed in the current legislature by MPs of different parties. 

Cirinnà hopes that the bill will "definitely approved before the end of the year", because she added that "we must fill a legal vacuum no more bearable ... the parliament must do in 6 months what it hasn't done in 8 years". About 8 years ago the center-left government tried to regulate the cohabitation of same and opposite-sex couples, 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).  

If the bill will be approved the Italian family law will change dramatically. This is a summary: Marriage will be available only for straight couples, Civil Union for gay and lesbian couple; than if you don't want to marry or to register your civil union you can still cohabit and receive some benefits or you could also stipulate a "cohabitation contract" with your partner.

Civil Union
In each comune (municipality, the plural forms is comuni) will be established the "National Register of Civil Unions" (Registro Nazionale delle Unione Civili) where gay and lesbian couples have the opportunity to formalize their union before the Registrar of the Civil Status (the state official). At least two witnesses must attend before the registration of the union in the National Register. When a couple writes down their names in the register the partners should decide the matrimonial regime. The registration of a civil union will grant to the two partners the same rights and duties of a married couple but not the right to adopt conjointly. However the partner will be able to adopt the child of the other partner.

Same and opposite-sex couples who don't want to register a civil union or to marry can cohabit and receive some benefits. Any contract that stipulates the cohabitation would be recorded before a notary. 

martedì 17 giugno 2014

Italian Rainbow Revolution

After the news released yesterday by L’Unità, according to one of the most read Italian newspaper, la Repubblica, Italy will gets its “Rainbow Revolution” when, in September, the Italian Parliament will start the debate over the recognition of same-sex unions.

Monica Cirnnà
On Tuesday 17, the Italian newspaper la Repubblica published that dealt with the issue of the recognition of same-sex unions. The journalist, Maria Novella de Luca, interviewed Monica Cirinnà the supervisor of two bills that will establish civil unions for gay and lesbians couples and cohabitation agreements for cohabitants couples either opposite or same-sex couples.

The Civil Union bill will grant to same-sex couples the same rights and duties afforded to married straight couples, indeed the Cohabitation agreement bill will grant to cohabitants couples some of the rights and the duties of marriage, because “who doesn’t got married, he or she doesn’t want to have all rights and duties”, Cirinnà says.

The paper version of the Tuesday article also reports two interviews, one to Giuseppina la Delfa, President of Rainbow Families, an association of gay parents and the other to the Catholic MP, Maurizio Sacconi who opposes Civil Unions for gays and lesbians, but backs the cohabitation agreement bill.

Giuseppina la Delfa, who writes for the Italian version of the Huffpost, strongly favors the two bills, but according to her the “real revolution” is the step-child adoption right that the Civil Union will grant to same-sex couples.

The two bills that will be introduced by Monica Cirinnà (Democratic Party) will start their debate in the Italian Senate Committee of Justice the next September.  

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.

mercoledì 11 giugno 2014

Italian Constitutional Court upholds same-sex marriage ban in a transgender marriage case.

On June 11, the Italian Constitutional Court uphold a law that impose divorce to trans married person who change his or her legal gender. However the same court found unconstitutional the same law when does not recognize the partnership situation created due to the change in the legal gender. 

According to the decision, this new situation is no longer a marriage, but a situation which the Parliament should regulate as a registered partnership, the court writes.

sabato 7 giugno 2014

Mayor of Rome promises Civil Unions and Marriage Registration

Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino
At the 20th anniversary of the first Rome Gay Pride Parade the Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, promised the approval of a Civil Union Register for cohabitants couples and the registration of same-sex marriages performed abroad.

On June 7, moments before the start of the Rome Gay Pride Parade, the Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, (PD, Democratic Party), promised to table a vote on a motion calling for establishing the City Civil Union Register. Marino also signaled the intention to study whether marriages of same-sex couples could be recorded before the Civil Registrar. 

The City Council is composed of 48 members, 29 support Marino mayoralty. Then 4 representatives of M5S (Movement 5 Stars) will certainly vote in favor of the motion. In addition it is not clear if another 2 members will vote for the Civil Union Register.

As promised Marino took part at the Parade which today celebrates the 20th anniversary. The mayor then headed the march through the streets of Rome. At the parade there was also Nichi Vendola, the openly gay Governor of Apulia. No members of the Renzi Cabinet took part at the celebration.

PHOTO: here (la Repubblica - Roma), here (il Corriere della