Despite fierce opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and prime minister Matteo Renzi’s political opponents, the Italian Senate passed a historic bill recognizing same-sex civil unions. The bill passed with a large majority (173 to 71), and will grant same-sex couples in civil unions similar rights to married couples. “Tonight many Italian citizens will feel less alone, more community. Hope has defeated fear. Courage has won over discrimination. Love has won,” Renzi wrote in a statement on Facebook.
LGBT activists were disappointed by the watered-down bill, however, as political maneuvering meant that Renzi had to remove the so-called “stepchild provision” which would have granted same-sex couples some parental rights. Rainbow Families, an organization for LGBT parents said the bill “ignores the existence and needs of the sons and daughters of homosexuals” and called for a protest on March 5. The original author of the bill, senator Monica Cirinnà, was cautiously optimistic, saying: “It’s a first step, a victory with a hole in the heart. This is a very important law, but I also think of the children of so many friends. Now we have to take a second step; we are halfway up the stairs.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.