Is Italy on its Way to Legalize Gay Marriage?
An Italian court ruled Wednesday that a town must recognize the marriage of a same-sex couple who tied the knot in the United States - a number of LGBT rights activists consider the decision the first step for Italy to finally recognize gay marriage, Reuters reports.
The court in the Tuscan city of Grosseto ordered the town hall to include the same-sex marriage in its records, which will give the two men, Stefano Bucci and Stefano Chigiotti, the same marriage rights as straight couples.
"This is a unique precedent for our country," Sergio Lo Giudice, a senator and former president of Italy's leading LGBT rights group Arcigay, said according to Reuters. "It is the first time that a gay marriage has been recognized in Italy."
Bucci, 57, and Chigiotti, 68, married in New York in 2012 and sued Grosseto after a town hall official wouldn't transcribe the couple's marriage into the registers. The court, however, said there were no laws or obstacles preventing the town to recognize a same-sex marriage that was performed in a country where it is legal.
"Politicians should take note," Fabrizio Marrazzo of the Gay Center rights group, said according to Reuters. "This opens a new chapter for gay couples in Italy."
Reuters notes it's unclear if the town will appeal the ruling.
Italy does not recognize gay marriage and the Catholic Church, which has major influence over the country's lawmakers, opposes same-sex marriage.