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Italy marched on for Marriage Equality

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Hundreds of thousands of people joined marches across Italy this weekend asking the country to “wake up” to marriage equality.

Ahead of a debate on same-sex marriage in the Italian Senate this week, thousands of activists took to the streets of towns and cities including Milan, Florence, Naples and Rome, to pressure ministers into supporting the bill.

Despite same-sex activity being legal since the late 1800s and workplace discrimination banned in 2003, Italy has failed to implement further legislation to support LGBT equality and is the only major country in Western Europe which does not offer marriage or civil unions to same-sex couples.

Protests also took place in major European cities including London, where hundreds gathered outside the Italian Embassy on Saturday to demand equality.

While the country’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, has pledged to pass a law introducing civil unions for same-sex couples, it’s unclear whether he has the support required.

We hope it will pass, but we don’t know,” activist Fabrizio Marrazzo told the Guardian. “We hope the politicians see that this is not a law just for LGBT people, but for all Italians, for civil rights in Italy.”

If successful, same-sex couples would be given the right to share a name and would also benefit from parental rights, including the opportunity to legally adopt the child of their partner, known as the “stepchild provision”.

Opponents of the bill have planned a series of counter protests, due to take place this coming week.

Source: divamag.co.uk

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