Italy’s highest court says gay not entitled to marry


italian_court_says_gay_marriage_not_constitutional_rightIn a blow to Italy’s LGBT community, the country’s highest court has ruled against an effort to legalise same-sex marriage in the predominantly Catholic country.

On Monday, the Court of Cassation ruled that Italy’s constitution does not give same-sex couples the automatic right to marriage equality.

It did, however, comnfirm that gay and lesbian couples must be granted the same protections under the law as other unmarried cohabiting couples.

In contrast to most other major European nations, not only is same-sex marriage not legal in Italy, but same-sex couples are currently also not given any access to legal recognition, such as civil unions or partnerships.

Despite this, mayors of some more progressive Italian cities have allowed local gay and lesbian couples to register their unions as well as recognising couples who have legally tied the knot in other countries.

In October, Italy’s Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano, ordered cities to stop recognising these foreign gay marriages, but a number of mayors have continued to defy him.

Just last month, city officials in Rome started registering civil unions between gay and lesbian couples as well as including same-sex marriages performed in other countries in the register.

Over the last 20 years numerous bills to recognise same-sex relationships have been rejected by the Italian Parliament in large part due to opposition from the Catholic Church.

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