The Mayor of Rome has said that he may take the case for equal marriage to the European Court of Human Rights.
Italy is strongly Catholic, and lags behind the rest of Western Europe on gay rights – maintains a strictly-enforced ban on recognition of same-sex marriage.
Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino opted to challenge enforcement of the law earlier this week, by recognising the marriages of 16 same-sex couples who had already wed as far afield as Spain, Portugal and the United States.
Meanwhile, Interior minister Angelino Alfano previously threatening to void any marriages that are recognised – which is expected to lead to an inevitable legal showdown between the two.
Roman Prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro has subsequently “invited” Mayor Marino to void the marriages – to “avoid irregularities on the civil status registry”.
When asked whether he planned to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, Mayor Marino told Ansa: “When I know the cards.”
He added: “In this moment, the legal office of city hall is studying the juridical aspects, but what counts more for me as mayor are the aspects my community’s life.
“Certainly, I performed an act that is not revolutionary, but a transcription of documents that were written in other countries of the European Community or in North America.”