After a year long debate, the bill regarding civil unions has been finally approved by both the chamber of deputies and the senate. A very controversial issue in the country, with a very heated discussion in both houses of parliament.
Italy has finally passed legislation legalizing civil unions. The bill, proposed by Monica Cirinna’, was presented at the senate in October of 2015. Approved at Palazzo Madama in February of 2016, yesterday the final vote took place at the chamber of deputies. The majority, with the help of a vote of confidence, managed to win its battle with a final result of 372 to 51, with 99 abstentions.
Italy is the last country in western Europe to regulate same-sex civil unions, considering than in the rest of the continent only Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia still lack specific legislation on the topic.
Italy is changing: the number of cohabitations went from 962.000 in 2011, to 1.095.000 in 2014. In addition the percentage of children born in non-married couples went from being 16,9% in 2008 to 27,6% in 2014. At the same time weddings heavily decreased. In 2008 246.613 weddings took place in Italy, in 2014 189.765.
A lot of issues are still on the table, for example stepchild adoption was removed from the bill in order to have the catholic side of the majority on board during the final vote. For this reason, many left-wing politicians voted against the bill, considering the reform impartial and therefore a total failure.