Italian Gov’t Starts Debate to Legalize Same-Sex Unions


Italy is Divided Over Effort to Legalize Same-Sex Unions.

Pope Francis reiterated the Vatican’s long-stated opposition to civil union between same-sex couples just a week prior to the tabling of a historic bill aimed at legalizing gay union in Italy. Italy remains the only Western European country not to have legalized gay marriage.

Italian Gov’t Starts Debate to Legalize Same-Sex Unions[/tweetthis]

In a rather heated public discourse, Francis said that there should not be any doubt about God’s plan for the family system and other sorts of human union.

The Italian senate is set to start the debate on the proposed legislation on Thursday. It is not yet clear if the left-of-center government led by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has the necessary support to get the bill passed in the upper house, where the legislation will be voted on by a secret ballot process.

The Pope, while addressing the Sacra Rota at Vatican, the Sacred See court that decides on the annulment of marriages, said that the Synod of Bishops at Vatican last autumn had ruled that the family; based on an unbreakable, procreative and integrative marriage; is a component of the vision of both God and Church aimed at humanity’s salvation.

It is believed that Italy’s reluctance in getting a bill passed on civil union stems from the influence exerted by Catholic Church on the course of Italian politics. It has happened four times during the past 14 years that law makers have tried to pass legislation on civil union passed in the parliament. However, all the proposed legislation failed primarily due to the opposition from the Church.

Monica Cirinna, a senator from center-left aligned Democrat Party and the person who originally tabled the bill opined that the Church at times makes its presence felt on sensitive issues such as the current one. Catholic counsel continues to preach that a marriage can happen only between a male and a female and not between two members belonging to the same sex.

Fabrizio Marrazzo, a leading gay rights activist associated with Arcigay, a campaign group, said that he hopes that the legislation will pass. However, he also expressed his concern saying that the rights activists were unsure nonetheless. He added that he hopes that all the politicians in the country would realize that the law would not only vindicate the LGBT people but it would also vindicate the state of civil rights in the country.


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