Italy’s Association of Rainbow Families rallied in Bologna on Sunday to defend the rights of same-sex couples to have their children recognised by the state.
Recently, the right-wing government stopped recognition of same-sex parents (aka a Rainbow Family) to both be recognised as a legal parent.
“A clearer law is needed,” said Bologna’s centre-left Mayor Matteo Lepore. He was referring to the supreme court ruling that the government has used to stop mayors registering the children of gay couples, but which appears to be open to interpretation.
Several hundred people defied steady rain to attend the Rainbow Family rally held in Bologna’s central Piazza Maggiore.
Officials are flouting government rules
The mayor of the north-western port city of Savona, Marco Russo, on Saturday became the latest local official to flout the government ban and register the son of two women.
The child, conceived in Barcelona with the assisted fertility of one of the women, was born in Savona earlier this week. It was the first case of registration of the child of a same-sex couple in Liguria since the government stopped the practice.
Russo explained his decision to prosecutors and the prefect saying he had signed the act personally without involving any other functionaries.
“I challenge the ban, the government is far away from reality”, he said.
European Parliament condemns Italian ruling
The European Parliament on Thursday approved an amendment to its motion for a resolution on the rule of law condemning “the instructions given by the Italian government to the municipality of Milan to suspend the registration of adoptions of same-sex couples.”
The amendment was submitted by the Renew Europe group and supported by the Left, Greens and Socialists.
Milan was recently forced to stop a procedure it had used to register both members of a same-sex couple as the parents of a child after the prefect’s department warned it was illegal following consultations with the interior ministry.
Furthermore, Premier Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party has tabled a bill that would make surrogacy a “universal crime”. That means Italians could be prosecuted for using the practice in foreign States where it is legal.
The centre-left Democratic Party (PD) has condemned the government’s actions and said it will fight to pass legislation protecting the rights of same-sex-parent families.
Milan Mayor Beppe Sala called for all the opposition parties to form a broad alliance to fight for the rights of same-sex-parent families. On Sunday he accused the government of “trying to take us back into the past”.
Italian Government’s Reasoning
Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani on Friday stressed the government’s opposition to surrogacy saying women’s bodies weren’t like ovens that bake potatoes.
“A woman cannot be exploited: she is not a cigarette machine. A woman’s womb must not be used to churn out children as if it were an oven where roast potatoes are baked”, Tajani said in Udine.
“It is not that women can decide on the uterus for rent,” he added, “one cannot commodify one’s own body. To the EU parliament I answer that the rules are written in Italy: it is not a question of European competences. The parliament was not legislating, it gave a majority opinion: if you want to change the rules you have to change them in Italy”.