Italy’s Prime Minister Relents on Adoption Rights within the Civil Unions Bill

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Prime Minister Renzi has asked his coalition to remove all the provisions of the Civil Unions Bill mentioning adoption rights.

The stepchild adoption clause, which would have given same-sex couples the right to adopt their partner’s biological child, has been the most controversial part of the bill since it was submitted two years ago. Parliamentary rivals and even some members of Renzi’s own circle were not keen on the idea of stepchild adoption and disagreement inside the Senate led to a standstill.

Italy is the last major nation in Western Europe without any legal recognition for gay couples and Renzi defended his move to drop the adoption clause on a radio interview by stating, “Between ‘everything never’ and ‘nothing today,’ it’s better to do a little piece now” regarding the family law reforms. Since his announcement, LGBT rights groups have expressed their disappointment with some claiming they feel betrayed.

The Prime Minister hopes to have the new, watered-down version of the Civil Unions Bill passed in the Senate by Friday so it can advance to the Chamber of Deputies where a larger left-leaning majority resides. However, getting the bill out of the Senate may require a confidence vote, a risky move that would equal new Parliamentary elections if it is unsuccessful. Although polls show that Renzi’s party would come out victorious if an election was held now, holding new elections would cause the bill to lapse and require the Government to start all over again.

For more information the LGBT right’s situation in Italy, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Italy

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