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Thursday, 18 February 2016 16:12

Italy's troubled path towards civil unions

 

pic EM Italy
Photo:  SignorDeFazio (Flickr); Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0  

 As the Cirinnà Bill is currently debated in Italy, Nicoletta Enria spells out what this legislative text is about and explains why civil union  is such a contentious topic for Italy

 I distinctly recall observing the beautiful scenes of jubilation when the US Supreme Court ruled gay marriage as legal nation-wide; I couldn’t help but wonder if this could ever occur in Italy. Italy remains the only country in Western Europe that does not recognize civil unions or gay marriage. Italy fosters a deeply catholic society, probably due to the Vatican and the Pope residing in the heart of Rome and a long Catholic history that came along with this. Despite Prime Minister Matteo Renzi having promised to pass a law on civil unions, this never seemed to be a priority. With the European Court of Human rights (ECHR) condemning Italy for failing to provide enough legal protection for same-sex unions, sentiments yearning for change were in the air. The controversial Cirinnà Bill seems to finally be paving the way for Italy to legalise civil unions. 

Published in Sixth Sense
Monday, 08 July 2013 13:13

How tolerant is Europe?

17th of May was the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. Why were hate crime and discrimination hotly discussed across the continent in May? And how is tolerance related to a dynamic economic situation?

Mid-May we saw the results of two important surveys. One was published by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, the other was conducted by two Swedish professors and analysed by a foreign affairs blogger on The Washington Post. The EU Agency questioned LGBT people about their experiences of hate crime and discrimination, while Berggren and Nilsson’s survey explored the correlation between tolerance and economic growth and wellbeing. Although not apparently connected, the results of the two surveys could give an indication of Europe’s progress on the way to racial, gender and sexual orientation tolerance. 

Published in Snapshot
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