Italian Lawmakers Approve Civil Unions Bill

Italian lawmakers on Wednesday paved the way for Italy to recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil unions.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi forced the issue by calling for a confidence vote in Italy’s Chamber of Deputies. The Italian Senate gave its approval in February.

With a 369-193 vote, Renzi’s cabinet survived. According to Reuters, such votes are used to curtail debate. A loss would have forced the government to resign, but a majority in the lower house made this unlikely in this case.

Renzi, who took office in 2014, is making good on a campaign promise to expand gay rights.

Renzi said in a Facebook post that he was putting the bill to a confidence vote “because it wasn’t possible to wait any longer after years of failed attempts.”

“The final version gives gay couples the right to share a surname, draw on their partner’s pension when they die, and inherit each other’s assets in the same way as married people,” Reuters reported.

Italy was the only Western European country that offered gay couples no recognition.

Pope Francis, the spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, quietly came out against the legislation in January.

“There can be no confusion between the family God wants and any other type of union,” Francis told members of the Vatican court that rules on marriage annulments. “The family, founded on indissoluble matrimony that unites and allows procreation, is part of God’s dream and that of his church for the salvation of humanity.”

by Carlos Santoscoy
Source – On Top Magazine