• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Fury as Italian leaders stall on gay unions
The Italian Senate suspended a debate on civil unions on Wednesday. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Fury as Italian leaders stall on gay unions

AFP · 17 Feb 2016, 13:26

Published: 17 Feb 2016 13:26 GMT+01:00

In a move that drew criticism from gay groups and many of its own supporters, the M5S refused to vote on a proposal to strike down a long list of amendments, most of them designed to strip the draft law of provisions allowing gays to be able to adopt the biological children of their partners.
   
As a result, the governing Democratic Party moved a resolution suspending debate on the issue until February 24th to allow for further negotiations between the parties.
   
Italy's second biggest political force, M5S has broadly backed moves to bring Italy's legislation into line with its neighbours in Western Europe by affording gay relationships legal protection and recognition for the first time.
   
But after the party decided to allow its lawmakers a free vote, it quickly became apparent that many of its Senators were much more conservative on the question than the leadership and the party group in the house insisted that all the amendments should be considered individually.
   
For supporters of the bill, this would mean running an unacceptable risk of the legislation being watered down.
   
Arcigay, Italy's leading gay rights group, voiced dismay at what it described as a U-turn by M5S.
   
"Not voting for this amendment means opening the highway for amendments from the (right-wing) Northern League which have the one and only objective of destroying the bill," said spokesman Vincenzo Brana.
   
"I would advise the Senators of the movement to take a tour on social media to have a basic idea of the disappointment and the anger that their decision has caused in the LGBT community."
   
Opinion polls suggest most voters are in favour of the principle of gay civil unions but, at best, evenly split on same-sex couples' adoption rights.
   
The Catholic Church has been extremely active in lobbying politicians on the question to the point of being publicly rebuked for meddling in parliament's business by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
   
If the Senate does finally adopt the bill, it will then have to go to the Chamber of Deputies for consideration. Support for it among Deputies is thought to be more solid than in the Senate.

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Italy quake: homeless to leave tent camps next month
Some 2,700 people lost their homes in the quake. Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP

Those left homeless after Wednesday's devastating earthquake in central Italy will be moved out of their tent camps by the end of September.

Facebook CEO in Rome for chat with staff...and a jog
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in Rome on Monday for a Q&A with employees. Photo: Drew Angerer/AFP

The billionaire arrived in the Italian capital after spending a week in Lake Como, where he attended the wedding of Sofia and Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify.

Gene makes coffee-lovers full of beans: Italian study
How much coffee you drink could come down to your genetic make-up. Photo: McPig/Flickr

A groundbreaking study carried out in coffee-mad Italy has helped identify a gene scientists say could regulate our appetite for espressos and cappuccinos.

The incredible hero dogs of Italy’s earthquake
Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

For 40 minutes before an earthquake struck central Italy in the early hours of last Wednesday, a pet dog, living with its family in Poggio Castellano, a hamlet near Amatrice, kept barking.

Drawing out children's trauma in quake-hit Italy
Following the quake, a play area for affected children has been set up in Amatrice. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Inside a shady tent in the middle of quake-hit Amatrice, a little girl hunches over a table drawing a picture of the soaring mountains overlooking this small Italian town.

Pope wants to visit quake-hit villages
’I hope to come and see you,’ the pope said. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto /AFP

Pope Francis said Sunday he wanted to visit some of the central Italian villages devastated in this week's earthquake, as survivors and rescue workers dug in for the long haul with winter approaching.

Why quake-hit Amatrice will never be the same again
Amatrice had been due to host its Amatriciana pasta festival this weekend. Photo: Angela Giuffrida

The Lazio town of Amatrice was the hardist-hit by Wednesday's devastating earthquake. The Local's Angela Giuffrida visited what is left of the town on Friday.

Italian flags at half mast for quake victims
More than 280 people were killed in the 6.2-magnitude earthquake that struck on August 24. Photo: Andreas Solaro /AFP

Flags flew at half mast across Italy on Saturday as the country observed a day of mourning for the victims of an earthquake that killed nearly 300 people.

Italy earthquake
Italy prepares to mourn earthquake dead
Collapsed buildings in Amatrice. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

No survivors have been found since Thursday.

Italy earthquake
Rescuers search for 15 still missing in Amatrice
A suitcase in the rubble of a collapsed home in Amatrice. Photo: Angela Giuffrida/The Local

A team of specialist rescue workers from Shanghai is searching for 15 people unaccounted for in Amatrice, the Lazio town torn apart by Wednesday's devastating earthquake.

Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Why discontented Italians could derail their economy
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Culture
Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still rich today
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Culture
So why do pasta-loving Italians live such long lives?
National
Italy's Renzi prepares for stormy autumn
Society
This 104-year-old just saw the sea for the first time
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
National
Should Rome give up on its 2024 Olympic dream?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants
Culture
Ten 'Italian' dishes that don't actually exist in Italy
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Sport
Five Italian athletes going for gold at the Rio Olympics
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Trastevere: From a fiery past to Rome’s souvenir stand
Politics
Think Trump would be a disaster? Just ask the Italians
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
How Brexit has helped to expose Italy’s banking malaise
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Politics
After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Lifestyle
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
National
Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
2,496
jobs available