Gay civil unions begin in Italy despite sabotage attempts by Catholics
After a long battle, Italy has become the latest country to legalise same-sex civil unions.
The country’s new law takes effect despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church which led to same-sex adoption being dropped from the law.
On Friday there was an influx of requests for same-sex civil unions, although it is unclear which couple was the first to enter one in the country.
According to local media outlets, one couple identified as Helen and Deborah were married last Sunday.
Reppubblica reported that the first couple to register their partnership was in Milan, and took place on Wednesday due to the partner of an un-named civil servant being terminally ill.
The report suggests that the civil union ceremony took place in a hospice.
Before the law managed to pass in Italy, adoption rights were stripped out, in an effort to appease Catholic politicians.
The bill passed in the Senate after having the adoption provision removed.
The civil union bill came about after the European Court of Human Rights upheld complaints of discrimination by same-sex couples, who currently have no legal rights in Italy
However, it stirred up resentment between the LGBT community and the country’s powerful anti-gay Catholic lobbying groups – with large rallies and political manoeuvring against the measure.