Final Vote on Italy’s Civil Unions Scheduled for Next Week

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Italy’s days as the last major Western European country not to afford same-sex couples legal recognition may soon be over next week.

According to The Local, the debate on Italy’s Civil Unions bill will begin on May 9th and end on the 12th with the final vote expected that Thursday.

The bill was approved in the Senate in February after fierce debates and a deluge of proposed amendments from conservative wings of Parliament. To overcome the flood of amendments, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had to employ a confidence vote, a measure that gambles his entire coalition, to be able to pass to the next round. Had his motion failed, new parliamentary elections would have been called.

Though Renzi has more allies in the Chamber, the Prime Minister said that another confidence vote will be called.

Stepchild adoption, the right of a person to adopt their partner’s child, was dropped to assure the bill’s passage and replaced with a clause that would respect a court’s decision to have the stepparents recognized if they won a case.

LGBT rights groups are unhappy with the current bill’s lack of stepchild adoption rights, but several MPs have revealed that a separate bill is in the works.

If the Civil Unions bill is approved as is in the Chamber of Deputies, it will be sent to the President for his signature.

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