Update: This report originally stated that Ignazio Marino won the mayoral race, however he led by a 12 point margin, so he and Gianni Alemanno will now go to a run off on 9 – 10 June.

A candidate in the race for the mayoral seat in the Italian city of Rome, who promised to introduce same-sex civil unions in the city, has led in the poll by a wide margin, and will now go to a run-off on 9 and 10 June.

Ignazio Marino, of the Democratic Party, who is a Senator and a surgeon, said earlier this month that he would introduce the appropriate measures to allow civil unions in the city. 

Upon making the announcement, he said: “Diversity is a resource.”

The results of the election were announced early on Tuesday, and Mr Marino won by a 12-point margin, with 43% of the poll, beating centre-right mayor Gianni Alemanno, Marcello De Vito, a candidate of anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, and businessman Alfio Marchini.

He also went on to say that he and his administration would go further, to introduce school programs to educate children on gay rights

A centre-right Italian politician this week also proposed to introduce a bill that would recognise the civil rights of gay couples in same-sex relationships.

Giancarlo Galan is confident that he will receive support from colleagues within ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party.

Italy does not currently legally recognise any kind of same-sex unions.

The gay governor of Italy’s Puglia region, Nichi Vendola, recently said that he is afraid to go out alone at night in Rome. 

The openly gay Italian Governor also said that he would like to have the “right” to get married to his partner in front of his “community and family.”

Two weeks ago, less than 24 hours after being sworn in as a member of Italy’s new coalition government, a junior equalities minister was removed from her post for saying that gay people invite discrimination by “ghettoising” themselves.

Former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said in January that he opposes same-sex marriage and adoption rights for gay people.

Berlusconi claimed in December that his opponents had accused him of everything “except being gay and stealing money from Italians.”Prior to that, in March 2011, Mr Berlusconi declared that gay couples in Italy would never be allowed to marry or have adoption rights.