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Marriage Equality

PHOTOS: Defying Federal Government, Rome Will Register Same-Sex Civil Unions

PHOTOS: Defying Federal Government, Rome Will Register Same-Sex Civil Unions


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.

Marriage equality proponents are celebrating a step forward in Rome, where the mayor and a liberal wing of the City Council have won the right for same-sex couples to register their civil partnerships, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

The legislation passed Wednesday also included a provision that will automatically register same-sex marriages that were conducted abroad. The move is in direct defiance of an order issued by Italy's interior minister, Angelino Alfano, but was supported by a coalition of multiple left-leaning political parties, including Mayor Ignazio Marino's Democratic Party.

Indeed, several Italian municipalities have already ignored Alfano's decree that no Italian city government has the authority to register same-sex civil unions, reports ANSA. Italy's national government does not provide legal recognition for civil unions or same-sex marriages performed abroad, nor does Italian law permit same-sex couples to be legally married domestically.

The Vatican, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church situated inside Rome, denounced Wednesday's vote as an "ideological bluff," according to ANSA. Claiming the vote is "a symbolic stage in an anti-family itinerary that opens up disturbing horizons damaging children," the editor of the Rome Diocese's website alleges that the council "has decided to discriminate knowingly against families."

But equality-minded Romans took the opportunity Wednesday to savor what many consider an important victory. Check out these glorious images from the eternal city:


Legislators, activists, and citizens gathered in Rome's City Council chambers to applaud the victory and raise a banner celebrating a new civil unions registry for same-sex couples, which includes a right to register for same-sex couples married abroad.


Balloons and broad smiles highlight a sunny Italian winter day as people gathered against the timeless backdrop of Rome's ancient statues to celebrate the city's new registry for same-sex couples.


Marriage equality advocates proclaim that love is equal outside Rome City Hall, carrying balloons and signs displaying red-and-white hearts with an equal symbol at the center.


"We must leave the Middle Ages behind and allow de facto couples and civil unions [to obtain] juridical recognition and legitimacy," Rome City Council member Irma Battaglia, leader of the Left Ecology Freedom Party, told Italian news agency ANSA, following the vote that won domestic partnership registration rights Wednesday.



Love finds a way in Rome. Defying a national order from the Interior Ministry, city leaders have extended recognition of same-sex civil unions to Romans -- two of whom took the opportunity to share a celebratory kiss Wednesday.

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