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Important day as Italy becomes 27th European country to legally recognise same-sex couples


11 May 2016


Justice & Home Affairs

11 May is now a significant date for the Italian LGBTI movement. Their persistent advocacy work was rewarded today as the Italian Chamber of Deputies voted in favour of a civil union bill in a final vote. This means that same-sex couples in Italy are legally recognised for the first time. 

ILGA-Europe warmly welcome this news and are looking forward to the imminent signature of the civil union bill by President Mattarella. 

The news of the civil union vote comes only 24 hours after ILGA-Europe’s latest Rainbow Europe package was launched. Before the vote in the Chamber of Deputies today, Italy achieved a score of 20% (one of the lowest scores among the 28 EU members) when ranked on its legal and policy situation for LGBTI people.

The new legislation provides for equality in matters of tax, social security and inheritance. However, the situation of rainbow families in Italy was overlooked as proposals to include second-parent adoption in the civil union bill were removed prior to the Senate’s vote on 25 February. ILGA-Europe realise the significance of today’s vote but also urge Italian lawmakers to examine ways to protect rainbow families and their children without delay. 

As part of yesterday’s Rainbow Europe 2016 launch, ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis had stressed the need for European governments to guard against the ‘complacency curse’ and to keep working for greater equality for all LGBTI people. 

Legal recognition for same-sex couples is a great step forward for Italian society – but it cannot be the final step. The Italian LGBTI community, their families and friends deserve to be fully protected and recognised by their state.  Another point raised by ILGA-Europe in our Rainbow Europe 2016 package is the need for governments to ensure that laws actively improve the daily lives of LGBTI people. The true value of today’s vote will be found in how effectively this new legislation is implemented. 


For more information please contact 
Emma Cassidy at +32 2 609 56 50

Notes for editors: 

  1. ILGA-Europe is the European Region of ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and works for human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans & intersex people in Europe. ILGA-Europe represents over 400 member organisations in 45 European countries: 
  2. For up-to-date information on the legal and policy situation for LGBTI people in Italy, visit our Rainbow Europe Module:  
  3. The civil union law will now be signed by the president before being published in the Official Gazette. Find out about all steps which need to be taken in Italy for this law to be adopted.