Rome has just had its first same-sex union
The first same-sex civil union has been held in Rome.
The ceremony has happened three months after a law came into force that accepts same sex unions.
Italy was the last member of the EU to legally recognise same-sex unions. 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
Luca de Sario, 30, and Francisco Raffaele Villarusso, 43, were considering getting married in Spain. They had even moved abroad to go through with the union but moved back to Italy when the bill was approved.
The bill has come under fire for a controversial adoption clause which was put in place in an effort to appease Catholic politicians.
The bill passed in the Senate after having the adoption provision removed..
There have also been reports of difficulty in couples changing their surnames, Le Repubblica reported.
In Italy legal name changes were previously only allowed if a person is under police protection or they are caused ‘extreme shame of humiliation’ by their existing name.
Now, name changes are considered an identity change under Italian law. This means people who wish to change their name after a same-sex union would have to change all of their identity documents and insurance. They would also need to apply for new social security cards.
Double barrel names are also considered a name change and so couples would have to go through the lengthy process of getting new identity documentation. Couple’s tax codes would also be altered.
While these law passed in June 2016 provides same-sex couples with many of the rights of marriage, same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.