[JURIST] Italy's Constitutional Court [official website, in Italian] on Wednesday rejected [press release, DOC; in Italian] a challenge to the constitutionality of the country's ban on same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. After hearing arguments from several same-sex couples who had been denied marriage licenses, courts in Trento and Venice asked the high court to resolve [Corriere del Veneto report, in Italian] whether provisions in the Italian Civil Code [text, in Italian] banning same-sex marriage conflict with Articles 2 and 117 of the Italian Constitution [text, PDF]. Following a closed session Wednesday morning, the court issued a brief statement declaring the question ineligible with regard to Articles 2 and 117 and unfounded with relation to Articles 3 and 29. The court is expected to issue a detailed judgment soon.
In 2007, Italy's Cabinet approved a controversial proposal [JURIST report] to grant a number of legal rights to unmarried couples, including those of the same sex. The proposal, harshly criticized by the country's justice minister and bishop [JURIST reports], ultimately failed. Italy is one of few Western European nations that does not offer legal recognition to same-sex couples. Most recently, the Portugese Parliament legalized same-sex marriage [JURIST report] in January. Prior to that, the Swedish Parliament enacted similar legislation [JURIST report] in April 2009.
Opinions expressed in JURIST Commentary are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST's editors, staff, donors or the University of Pittsburgh.