Italy parliament approves same-sex civil unions News
Italy parliament approves same-sex civil unions

Italian members of parliament on Wednesday voted [press release, in Italian] in favor of a law recognizing civil unions of same-sex couples. The Italian Parliament voted [NYT report] 372 to 51 with 99 abstentions in favor of the law. The vote makes Italy the last major Western country and last nation in the 28-nation EU to grant [NPR report] legal recognition to civil unions. The law stops short of granting same-sex couples the ability to adopt their partners’ biological children, and many advocates have simultaneously applauded the vote and admitted that it does not grant full equality to same-sex couples. Opponents of the law have “vowed” to call for a referendum to repeal the law.

The issue of same-sex marriage continues to be a controversial international issue. This week the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of Mississippi filed [JURIST report] a federal lawsuit challenging a law that allows state employees to refuse to issue same-sex civil union licenses and allows private businesses and religious groups to deny services to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities without the threat of punishment. Last month, the Constitutional Court of Colombia made [JURIST report] the country the fourth Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage. Also last month, a judge in China refused [JURIST report] to allow a same-sex couple to register as married. In addition, JURIST Guest Columnist Jeremiah A. Ho of the University of Massachusetts School of Law, discussed [JURIST Commentary report] last month with JURIST the recent anti-LGBTQ legislations in several conservative states and suggested that marriage equality is not enough to protect the LGBTQ minority group.