Italian couple tie the knot at Stockholm Pride
The pair plan to send a message to their home country by marrying at Sweden’s biggest LGBT event.
Diego Angemi, 36, and his partner Francesco Ceccarini, 33, are got married in front of hundreds of thousands of people at the Stockholm Pride Parade this afternoon.
However, the pair – who met in Italy but live in Sweden – say the ceremony was not just a celebration of love in front of their family, friends and some 450,000-strong Pride audience, but also a political statement, reports The Local.
While same-sex marriage has been legal in Sweden since 2009, several attempts to introduce similar legislation in Italy have repeatedly been blocked in parliament.
Speaking of what life is like for the LGBT community in his home country, Diego said: “They’re not accepted – Francesco and I pretend to be best friends and not partners when we’re there.
Not every European country has come as far as Sweden, and Italy and Greece are probably the ones who are furthest behind.”
Asked when he thinks Italy will legalise same-sex marriage, he replied: “I don’t have a good answer to that.”
“I attended a Pride festival in Rome in 2000 and it hasn’t progressed since. The situation has almost gotten worse while the rest of the world is developing in these matters.”
The couple hope that their marriage will be “the perfect storm” and “make a political statement to pressure Italy into legalising same-sex marriage.”
The pair will started the wedding ceremony as the Pride Festival began, as they gathered with friends and family on a truck that drove them through the parade – by the time the parade ended, the pair were officially married.
“Pride is the best time in Stockholm,” Diego added, “with so many people celebrating and now our loved ones from Italy get to experience it – and attend the wedding as a bonus.”
Last week, the European Court of Human Rights criticised Italy for not protecting legal recognition for same-sex couples.
The Court ruled on Tuesday that Italy should introduce something along the lines of civil unions, in order to protect the rights of same-sex couples.
Italy remains the only major country in Western Europe which does not have legal protections for cohabiting same-sex couples, or same-sex marriage.