The Mayor of Milan claims he is facing criminal charges, after he agreed to register a number of same-sex marriages carried out abroad.
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.
However, a number of left-wing mayors across Italy have openly defied Interior minister Angelino Alfano to recognise gay and lesbian weddings – with even the Mayor of Rome recognising a number of weddings in October.
Mr Alfano has demanded that the mayors void all same-sex marriages – and Milan mayor Giuliano Pisapia revealed that he is now facing “criminal proceedings” after he refused to do so.
Mayor Pisapia wrote: “I am the subject of criminal proceedings for not having fulfilled the request to delete the records of marriages contracts between people of the same sex.
“I respect everyone’s opinion on same-sex marriages, but the law dictates the registration of marriages that are legitimately carried out abroad.
“I want to urge President Renzi and all parties of the Centre-Left to commit themselves to waiving Interior Minister Alfano order that requires mayors to break the law and void the marriages.”
Earlier this week Pope Francis attacked same-sex marriage, saying those who support it are attempting to “disfigure God’s plan for creation”.
Speaking at a mass in Manila, Pope Francis warned that the family is “threatened” by people who want to ““redefine the very institution of marriage”.