In 2016, Italy made a significant step forward by legalizing same-sex civil unions. However, the country stopped short of granting gay couples the right to adopt. This decision was largely influenced by opposition from the Catholic Church. Since then, decisions regarding same-sex parenting have been made on a case-by-case basis by the courts. Some local authorities have also taken unilateral action to support same-sex parents.
Recently, Italy’s new right-wing government has been making moves to restrict the rights of same-sex parents. This has led to hundreds of people taking to the streets in Milan to protest against these changes. The protesters were holding rainbow flags and signs that read “You explain to my son that I’m not his mother.”
Milan had been registering children of same-sex couples who were conceived overseas through surrogacy, which is illegal in Italy, or medically assisted reproduction, which is only available for heterosexual couples. However, the Ministry of the Interior sent a letter insisting that the courts must decide on these registrations. As a result, these registrations have stopped.
Milan’s centre-left mayor, Beppe Sala, has condemned this change as an “obvious step backwards from a political and social point of view.” He has promised to fight against it. Fabrizio Marrazzo of the Gay Party has also criticized the change as “unjust and discriminatory.” He has stated that about 20 children are waiting to be registered in Milan.
The lack of legal recognition for same-sex parents can lead to significant bureaucratic problems. For example, a parent who is not legally recognized can face the risk of losing their child if the registered parent dies or if the couple’s relationship breaks down.
Opposition politicians, including Elly Schlein, the newly elected leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, attended the protest in Milan. Many protesters railed against Italy’s new national government, which puts a strong emphasis on traditional family values. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, whose far-right Brothers of Italy party finished first in September elections, has stated that she is in favor of natural families and against the LGBT lobby.
Earlier this week, a Senate committee voted against an EU plan to oblige member states to recognize the rights of same-sex parents granted elsewhere in the bloc. This decision is another setback for same-sex parents in Italy.
In conclusion, Italy’s new right-wing government is making moves to restrict the rights of same-sex parents. This has led to protests in Milan and criticism from opposition politicians and activists. The lack of legal recognition for same-sex parents can lead to significant bureaucratic problems and risks for families. It remains to be seen whether Italy will make further progress towards equality for same-sex couples and their families.