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  • October 2015 : The Synod of Bishops on the Family

In October 2015, the concluding text of the Synod on the Family was voted by the Bishop’s Synod of the Catholic Church. Result of several weeks of work and discussion, the 94 points of the Synod’s report on the family provide the vision of the Church on issues such as marriage, divorce, same-sex marriages, and the role of women in families. Read a full article on this question by Francesco Alicino.

Francesco Alicino
  • Debate on the Legal Status of Same-Sex Couples

In October 2015, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi assured that a bill titled “De facto couples and civil unions” (the so-called Ddl. Cirinnà) would become law within the 2015 ; he has called this legal Act “a pact for civilization”. In compliance with the national and European jurisprudence (see full article), this Act would finally allow same-sex couples to form a civil partnership by means of an official declaration in the presence of an official of the Italian registry office, giving them the right to a tax deduction for dependent spouse, social security benefits for the household and a pension for the surviving partner.
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, has reacted by reaffirming that it is “unfair” to give to other types of relationships the same rights duly belonging to the “natural” family based on marriage, and made up of “father, mother and children.” The resistance is political, and comes from the conservatives within the majority, the Catholic senators and deputies of Nuovo Centrodestra (NCD) headed by Minister for the Interior Angelino Alfano – who did not vote for the “compromise” amendment, which passed thanks to the support of the opposition Five Stars Movement (Movimento Cinque Stelle). In the NCD’s opinion, the new bill does not sufficiently distinguish civil unions from marriage, nor does it resolve such quandaries as adoptions and stepchildren adoption, survivor’s pension, and surrogate mothers, which Nuovo Centrodestra firmly opposes.

Francesco Alicino
  • 11 June 2014

On 11 June 2014, the Constitutional Court declared Articles 2 and 4 of Law 164 of 1982 to be unconstitutional. These stipulate that the civil effects of marriage cease as soon as a rectification to sexual gender is recorded by a court ("rettificazione di attribuzione di sesso giudiziale"). The Court does not impose continuity of marriage after a change of gender : that would have transformed its decision into one favourable to marriage for all. Rather, it considers it to be unconstitutional that Italian law does not offer the couple who has transformed into a same-sex couple and wishes to remain together, a legal status (of the civil union type) which would make that possible.

Marco Ventura

D 8 octobre 2018    AFrancesco Alicino AMarco Ventura

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