A landmark ruling has been made in the case of a trans woman whose marriage was dissolved despite her and her wife wishing to stay together, to say that the annulment was unconstitutional, despite the country having no legal recognition of same-sex marriages.

Alessandra Bernaroli, 43, maintained that her marriage of nine years was strong and she and her wife wished to remain married. Her local marriage registry dissolved the marriage because it would not acknowledge a same-sex marriage.

The Constitutional Court on Tuesday began hearing the case, and said it had aimed to balance “the State’s interest in not changing the model of heterosexual marriage…and the interest of the couple where one of the two components changes sex”.

In its ruling, the court suggested that politicians should consider introducing “an alternative form” of marriage.

Legal experts have said this ruling could set a precedent which could allow the recognition of civil unions in Italy.