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Italian Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Parents

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The ruling goes against the views of Italy's new far-right government and prime minister.

An Italian court ruled that same-sex parents have the right not to be labeled "mother" or "father" on the ID paperwork of their children.

A judge in Rome ruled in favor of a lesbian couple who had launched a legal challenge against the regulations for IDs for minors, Reuters reports.

Parents or legal guardians must be referenced in those documents and until 2019 they were identified as "parents." However, when the new far-right Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was the interior minister, the rule was changed to require a list for "father" and "mother."

In the Rome case, one of the women had given birth to a girl who was adopted by the woman's partner. They were legally recognized as the girl's parents.

The judge said that forcing one of them to be labeled "father" didn't make sense, according to Reuters.

While the decision came in September, it was only recently publicized by the LGBTQ+ rights group Famiglie Arcobaleno (Rainbow Families).

The news wire notes that this ruling applies to only this case.

"Until the law is changed, it is up to the initiative of individuals" to challenge the ID requirements, said Egizia Mondini, a spokeswoman for Famiglie Arcobaleno, Reuters reports.

It's a ruling that goes against Italy's new right-wing government. A statement from Meloni's office said the case would be examined and that the ruling "presents obvious implementation problems" and "puts at risk" the current ID system.

Meloni is Italy's first woman leader and heads its most conservative government since World War II. However, she has "played down her party's post-fascist roots and portrays it as a mainstream group like Britain's Conservatives," according to Openly, the Thomson Reuters Foundation's LGBTQ+ news site.

But there's no getting away from the anti-LGBTQ+ statements she has made on many occasions and those made by her colleagues in Fratelli d'Italia.

"Yes to natural families, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology, yes to the culture of life, no to the abyss of death," she said in June while speaking to members of a far-right party in Spain.

She opposes allowing same-sex couples to have children through adoption or surrogacy. When an LGBTQ+ activist queried her on Facebook about the issue, she replied, "I believe a child has the right to grow up with a father and a mother."

Other members of her party have spoken out against LGBTQ+ rights as well. Federico Mollicone, culture spokesman for Fratelli d'Italia, recently said that "in Italy homosexual couples are not legal, are not allowed," Openly notes. In reality, Italy allows same-sex couples to enter into civil unions, something the government approved in 2016; Fratelli d'Italia opposed the move. Civil unions confer fewer rights than marriage, and Italy remains the only major country in Western Europe without marriage equality.

Meloni and her party have received praise from many far-right American politicians and pundits. Among those who have expressed support are U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and former Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon, who's now been charged with money laundering and other crimes in relation to charity fraud.

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