Italy: Mayor of Rome flouts law by registering 16 same-sex marriages
The Mayor of Rome has openly flouted Italian law, by allowing a number of same-sex couples to register their marriages.
The strongly Catholic country – which lags behind the rest of Western Europe on gay rights – maintains a strictly-enforced ban on recognition of same-sex marriage.
However, the Mayor of Italy’s capital city, Ignazio Marino, has opted to challenge enforcement of the law by recognising the marriages of 16 same-sex couples, who had already wed as far afield as Spain, Portugal and the United States.
Mr Marino said: “The most important right is to say to your companion ‘I love you’ and to have that be recognised”.
“We have a lot of work to do to make sure everyone’s rights are recognised.”
His move will be seen as a direct provocation to the government, with Interior minister Angelino Alfano previously threatening to void any marriages that are recognised despite the law.
Mr Alfano made the legal threat after several same-sex marriages were recognised in Bologna.
Despite these instructions, the Mayor of Bologna has refused to annul the marriages of gay and lesbian couples entered into abroad.
The Mayor of Rome was joined by those from several other Italian cities in disobeying the law.
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