Crime and Court news / Society

Administrative Court reopens gay marriage battle in Italy

In Italy people of the same sex cannot get married. However many Mayors, acting in their capacity as State Registrars, have started registering gay marriages celebrated abroad. In practice, this could make life much easier for Italian homosexuals willing to marry: a quick holiday in Spain and Slovenia would solve the problem.

The conservative Minister of the Interior Angelino Arfano ordered the Prefects to annul the registrations by the Mayors, but yesterday the Administrative Court of Rome ruled that Prefects lack the power to annul the registration of a marriage, such power belonging to a Court only.

However, not everybody can ask a Court to annul the registration of a marriage: a formal request from a District Attorney’s Office is probably needed. DAs are busy prosecuting defendants, and are unlikely to meddle in the controversial issue of gay marriage.

In sum, it it likely that every Mayor will de facto have the last word on the legal statute of gay couples under his jurisdiction.

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