Scroll To Top
World

Italian city
votes to extend rights to cohabiting couples, gays
included

Italian city
votes to extend rights to cohabiting couples, gays
included

The city of Padua has become the first in Italy to allow gay couples to have their partnerships legally recognized. Padua's city council decided on Monday night to recognize unmarried cohabiting couples, including gays, allowing the statistics office to issue certificates to domestic partners recognizing them as "a family founded on bonds of affection." While the move is being viewed by some as an advance for gay rights, it was also motivated by the growing number of nontraditional families, even in Roman Catholic Italy, in which children are being raised by single parents or unmarried couples. "This is for couples who don't want to get married--couples who are living together who want to register that they are cohabiting," city spokeswoman Donatella Gasperi said Wednesday. "It's not necessarily for gays, but if two gays come in, they will be registered." The number of unmarried cohabiting couples in Italy has increased from 227,000, or 1.3% of all couples, in 1994 to 555,000, or 3.8%, the national daily La Repubblica reported. Nearly 14% of children are born to unmarried parents, an increase of 70% from 1995, the newspaper said. The measure was sponsored by Alessandro Zan, a city councilman from the Democratic Party of the Left who is also the regional president of the gay rights group Arcigay. Zan said the measure wasn't intended as a precursor to gay unions but rather as official recognition of a legal status. "It will be a very important instrument because it grants power to obtain all the rights and benefits that many laws and rules give to domestic partners but which you can't enjoy without an official certificate from the statistics office," La Repubblica quoted Zan as saying. Such a certificate could be useful, for example, in obtaining a joint bank account or protecting the rights of a partner in the case of death. While Roman Catholic Spain has embraced same-sex marriage, the issue remains hotly contested in Italy, which is strongly influenced by church positions. (AP)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories