Somewhat watered-down


Stephanie Kirchgaessner “Italian senate passes watered-down bill recognising same-sex civil unions”


While it was the first significant win for gay rights following years of failed attempts, Thursday’s developments were nevertheless greeted as a hollow victory by many LGBT activists because the bill was watered down days before its passage.

The legislation passed by the senate – in an overwhelming 173-71 vote – will allow same-sex couples to enter civil unions that provide legal rights similar to those of married couples.

But a provision in the legislation that would have granted non-biological parents in same-sex unions some parental rights – known as the “stepchild” provision – was struck from the legislation this week following a parliamentary agreement between Renzi’s Democratic party and his coalition partners, the New Centre Right.

Another provision that addressed the requirement for “faithfulness” in the relationship was also struck from the bill, after conservatives complained that the language tried to mimic marriage vows.