Gay rights activists on Tuesday condemned as homophobic moves by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's government to limit recognition of parental rights to only the biological father in same-sex families.
This is reported by AP.
The government has ordered Milan's city authorities to end the automatic registration of both parents in same-sex couples in the city's registers, which is expected to affect hundreds of families. It was the latest major city to continue the practice, which was briefly adopted in Rome, Turin, Naples and other cities after Italy's Supreme Court in 2016 made it easier for gay people to adopt a biological partner's child.
This bureaucratic procedure is key to recognizing parental rights in a number of everyday situations, such as allowing medical treatment or participating in school trips.
Rainbow Families president Alessia Crocini said Rome's decision to end automatic registration of both parents in same-sex families exposes the government's homophobia. The government has not made any official statements in this regard.
"This government is the ultimate expression of homophobia," she said. "Maloney says that in order for a child to grow well, it needs a mother and a father, even if decades of research say otherwise. This is insulting to the hundreds of thousands of families with two same-sex parents," Crocini added.
Yuriy Guiana of the activist group All Out said the move "throws thousands of families into uncertainty."
News of the move, which was announced to Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala by a state-appointed prefect, came on the same day that a Senate committee blocked an attempt to recognize birth certificates of same-sex couples issued by other EU countries.
Sala vowed to fight for a law that would give same-sex parents equal rights, but said he couldn't risk putting the city's State Statistics Service at odds with the government's decision just yet.
In the absence of recognition, the non-birth mother or father must go through adoption proceedings to establish parental rights - which can take years.
The Italian Gay Party, which was created in 2020 to give political weight to the fight against discrimination against gays, estimates that around 150,000 children suffer because Italy does not recognize the rights of both parents in same-sex marriages.
The representative of the Gay Party, Fabrizio Marrazzo, called on the mayors of Italian cities to reject the government's demand and register both same-sex parents in an act of civil disobedience.
Giorgia Maloney has reportedly been criticized for her "joyful mood" at her political ally Matteo Salvini's birthday party as Italy continues its search for migrants who drowned off the coast of Calabria.