Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Italy has been one of the holdouts among Western nations the when it comes to extending marriage or civil unions to same-sex couples. But Italian lawmakers are now set to consider granting civil-union status to couples in the nation as the Senate is set to vote on new legislation Thursday. The bill originally looked to pass with little opposition but some now fear the fight will be tough as a member of the ruling coalition opposes the bill while opposition leaders, including former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, have soften their support for the bill. In addition, Italy is home to the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church which has opposed similar laws in other countries although the current Pontiff, Francis, has made it a point for the Church to avoid entangling itself in opposing measures such as this as of late. In addition, other nations, such as Ireland, have come to allow same-sex unions or marriage despite strong opposition from religous groups. However, polling for the bill has fallen recently to below the %50 threshold as opposition to allowing same-sex stepchild adoption has sapped support among many. In any event, we will know soon if enough support remains to get the bill passed.
See Jim Yardley, Italy Divided Over Effort to Legalize Civil Unions for Gays, The New York Times, January 24, 2016.