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Big Italian bank recognizes gay marriage

Big Italian bank recognizes gay marriage
The employee benefit will be applied to couples who wed in countries where same-sex marriage is legal. Photo: Jeff Pachoud/AFP

Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s second-largest bank, has formally recognized the rights of gay newlyweds, going against a ban on same-sex marriage in Italy.

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The agreement, signed with unionists on Thursday, will see gay employees given the same marital leave as their straight colleagues, La Stampa reported.

Although gay marriage is illegal in Italy, the employee benefit will be applied to couples who wed in countries where same-sex marriage is legal.

The agreement refers to “a civil or religious marriage, celebrated in Italy or abroad, even if it is not recognized by the Italian system,” as quoted in La Stampa.

“The importance of the agreement serves to reinforce the group’s commitment to politics of non-discrimination and equal opportunity” and to “respect diversity”, Intesa Sanpaolo said.

The decision was hailed as “innovative and modern” by Giuseppe Milazzo, national secretary of Fabi, a bankers’ union.

Intesa Sanpaolo’s move comes just days after the campaign for equal marriage rights gained further momentum in Italy, as the mayor of Bologna agreed to register gay nuptials.

Following the example set by mayors in other Italian cities, including Naples, Virginio Merola said from September gay couples who wed abroad would be able to add their marriage to the civil register.

READ MORE: Bologna to register foreign gay nuptials

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