Through an aide, the pope offers support to a writer whose work was banned by the mayor of Venice, but warns against reading too much into it.
While not binding, the decision adds to mounting pressure on the peninsula.
While France, Ireland, and the U.K. have already enacted marriage equality, Italy still struggles with offering any legal recognition to same-sex couples.
Men and women's differences bind them in marriage and help their children mature, the pope asserts.
A precedent may have been set by a same-sex couple, where one of the women is transgender.
Equality-minded Romans are celebrating an important victory in the march toward equal recognition of same-sex relationships, despite opposition from the Vatican and the national government.
The head of the Italian Bishops Conference rails against 'undermining culturally and socially the core of humanity.'
Rome's mayor defied the central government by performing a ceremony to register same-sex couples who were married abroad.
Photographer Oliviero Toscani was appalled when a conservative, homophobic political party in Italy tweeted an image he shot in support of diverse families for a very different campaign.