ITALY: In Milan, hundreds of people protested against measures taken by Italy’s new right-wing administration to limit the rights of same-sex parents. “You explain to my son that I’m not his mother,” read one sign held up amid a sea of rainbow flags that filled one of the northern city’s central squares.
In 2016, Italy made same-sex civil unions legal, but the Catholic church’s opposition kept it from letting gay couples adopt. Instead, when parents sue, the courts decide after looking at each case individually, though some local governments have chosen to act on their own.
However, this stopped after the interior ministry sent a letter demanding that the courts make the decision, according to the city’s center-left mayor, Giuseppe Sala, who disclosed it this week.
“It is an obvious step backward from a political and social point of view, and I put myself in the shoes of those parents who thought they could count on this possibility in Milan,” he promised to battle the change in a podcast.
Fabrizio Marrazzo of the Gay Party said about 20 children were waiting to be registered in Milan, condemning the move as “unjust and discriminatory”.
Without formal recognition, a mother or father may have to deal with a lot of bureaucratic problems and could lose custody of their child if the registered parent dies or if the relationship between them ends.
One of the opposition politicians present at the demonstration on Saturday was Elena Schlein, the recently elected leader of the center-left Democratic Party. Many protesters gathered there to demonstrate against the new administration.
Traditional family values are highly valued by the prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, whose far-right Brothers of Italy party won the most votes in the September elections.
In a speech last year, she declared, “Yes to natural families, no to the LGBT lobby!” This was before she was elected to lead a right-wing alliance that included Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigration League.
A Senate committee voted earlier this week against an EU plan that would have forced member states to recognise the rights of same-sex parents given elsewhere in the bloc.
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