Movements for civil rights have been spreading over Europe in the last few years. Homosexual couples have been gaining, step by step, those rights heterosexual couples are entitled of. Some have gained their goals first, others later, but nowadays same-sex relationships aren’t regulated yet in Italy, Republic of Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria.

As far as Italy is concerned, a few weeks ago the Parliament faced a harsh debate which focused on the rights that same-sex couples should be granted. The bill was named after the promoter, Cirinnà. The political mechanism behind can be explained like this: the agreement on the bill had been reached between the left-wing parties, the Democrats and another party called “Movimento 5 stelle”. The bill had a series of amendments that were to be approved, but one of these considered the bill as a whole. This meant that if this only amendment had been approved, the others would have been useless since the whole bill would already have passed. However, half an hour before the vote, the deputies of the Movimento 5 Stelle left the chamber since they claimed that voting the amendment that had the whole bill as the object was unconstitutional.
A week later another vote was held, but this time, the compromise was between the left wing and the right wing parties, these last ones famous for being adverse to recognise same-sex couples the rights heterosexual couples have. The bill passed but it seriously lacks guarantees.

This fact raised the LGBT community objections. I interviewed Lorenzo De Preto, the chief member of an Italian LGBT association, the Arcigay of Trento, who explained why the bill let down the general expectations.
First of all, the members of the Movimento 5 Stelle disrespected a political alliance which, in fact, went far beyond the political aspect, since it implied the promise for constitutional rights. The general excuse given by the party Movimento 5 Stelle was that they had the political responsibility towards the constitutional system -however, it seems that Italian political parties do not feel as strongly their responsibility towards the social community and especially towards the families who still lack a proper juridical protection. Lorenzo stated that apart from the political manoeuvres held that day in the Parliament, the real problem is that politicians boast of the “new Cirinnà bill” since it recognised same-sex couples rights. However, going deeper into it, Lorenzo explained that the “new” Cirinnà bill:
– recognises same-sex couples as something distant from the “normal family”, which is exactly what the LGBT community doesn’t want. Same-sex couples have been recognised as a “special institution” but it is exactly this conception that doesn’t guarantee equality;
– doesn’t request loyalty in same-sex couples, a fidelity, which is the basis of the traditional marriage. This is considered by Arcigay members as the umpteenth demonstration of how homosexual people are considered debauched people and not individuals showing how seriously they take their engagement in what in fact is a long-lasting relationship;
– doesn’t regulate the stepchild adoption, which was the main issue. This institution was to allow partners to adopt the partner’s child. This was the biggest crux that caused contrast between the left and right wing of the Parliament until the different parties decided just to ignore this element and find a superficial agreement.

In conclusion, the Cirinnà bill simply regulates same-sex couples but doesn’t really make them equal to “normal” couples, leaving behind an unsatisfied community which has been fighting for its rights for too long now. In addition to this, the law simply refers to the jurisprudence, saying that as far as stepchild adoptions are concerned, judges have to refer to… their own decisions! The lack of regulation is undoubtedly grave. We will see in the following weeks what will happen since the LGBT community is organising protests in order to gain which should be their natural and fair right.

Chiara Merlino, Correspondent (Our World)

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