Protests in Italy as government restricts rights of same-sex parents | government news

Italy legalized same-sex registered partnerships in 2016, but did not grant same-sex couples the right to adopt.

Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in Milan to protest the new right-wing Italian government’s moves to limit the rights of same-sex parents.

“You explain to my son that I’m not his mother,” read a sign held up in a sea of ​​rainbow flags that filled one of the northern city’s central squares on Saturday.

Italy legalized same-sex civil unions in 2016, but opposition from the Catholic Church meant it didn’t give gay couples the right to adopt.

Instead, decisions have been made on a case-by-case basis by the courts in parental lawsuits, although some local authorities have decided to act unilaterally.

Milan had registered children of same-sex couples conceived abroad through surrogacy, which is illegal in Italy, or through medically-assisted reproduction, only available to heterosexual couples.

But its centre-left mayor, Beppe Sala, announced this week that those registrations were halted after the Home Office sent a letter insisting the courts must decide.

“From a political and social perspective, it’s an obvious step backwards and I put myself in the shoes of the parents who thought they could count on this opportunity in Milan,” he said on a podcast, promising to fight the change.

The Gay Party’s Fabrizio Marrazzo said about 20 children are waiting to be registered in Milan as he condemned the change as “unfair and discriminatory”.

A mother or father who is not legally recognized as the parent of their child can face enormous bureaucratic problems, including the risk of losing the child if the registered parent dies or the couple’s relationship breaks up.

Elly Schlein, newly elected leader of the center-left Democratic Party, was among opposition politicians attending Saturday’s protests, which saw many activists rail against the new national government.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, whose far-right party, Brothers of Italy, won first place in September’s elections, places great emphasis on traditional family values.

“Yes to natural families, no to the LGBT lobby!” she said last year in a speech ahead of her election to lead a right-wing coalition that includes Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigration league.

Earlier this week, a Senate committee voted against an EU plan to require member states to recognize same-sex parenting rights granted elsewhere in the bloc.


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