On 25 February 2016, the Italian Senate voted in favour of a draft civil unions law aimed at providing same-sex couples with similar rights to those of heterosexual couples. A vote by the lower Chamber of parliament is still needed. The Network of European LGBTI Families Associations – NELFA, understands the significance of this vote since it is the first time that Italian politicians have discussed the legal recognition of same-sex couples. However, NELFA is not in a celebratory mood. The new draft law no longer includes provisions on second-parent adoption.
NELFA is grateful for all the work being done by our Italian member organisations, Famiglie Arcobaleno and Rete Genitori Rainbow, on behalf of LGBTI parents and their children in Italy.
Maria von Känel, NELFA President, said: “The last-minute changes introduced to the Italian law on civil unions were clearly aimed at belittling our relationships and, moreover, at keeping our children unprotected. We recognise the importance of the Italian Senate vote, but we are very disappointed to see that children of LGBTI parents will not be given the same legal protection enjoyed by other children. The government of Prime Minister Renzi should have been firmer about this.”
Rita Marascalchi, NELFA Board Member from Italy and a mother herself, said: “The rights of our children are non-negotiable. LGBTI parents and their children in Italy were expecting a law that would acknowledge their dignity and their right to equal treatment. This law, despite providing some benefits to same-sex couples, continues to reinforce the message that our love is not equal and that our children are second-class citizens. We want full and equal legal protection for our children and we will continue to work for it until it will be achieved.”