Foreign relations / Society

Irish referendum puts pressure on Italy

After the Irish referendum legalizing gay marriage, the Italian Minister of Reforms Maria Elena Boschi hopes that the Parliament will start debating the Bill introducing civil partnerships for people of the same sex after the regional elections scheduled for 31 May.

Oddly enough the Bill, if approved, would apply only to gay couples, leaving heterosexual couples in a stable cohabitation without any legal protection.

The Government is compelled to be very prudent, since it is supported by the conservative New Right party led by the Minister of the Interior and former Deputy Prime Minister Angelino Alfano.

Prime Minister Renzi himself is a devout Catholic credited with attempting to found a “National Party”, which would be somehow reminiscent of the old Christian Democratic party. However, the Civil Partnerships Bill is sponsored by the Government, and Mr Renzi also needs to appease the leftist wing of his party. Moreover, the Church itself is no more very aggressive in opposing LGBT rights under the leadership of Pope Francis. From Rome nobody apparently reprimanded Diarmuid Marty, the Archbishop of Dublin who, in commenting the referendum, urged the Church to “come to terms with reality”.

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