By Hilary White
ROME, December 20, 20007 ( – The City Council of Rome will not allow homosexual partners to register their liaisons as civil unions. In a 43-12 vote, the Council came out against a registry for same-sex unions
The Italian daily La Repubblica published an open letter from Mayor Walter Veltroni, saying that the debate on the civil-union proposal had opened a broader discussion on the issue of violence against homosexuals that would not have been possible 40 years ago.
The government had proposed to implement civil union legislation that would have brought homosexual partnerings the same civil recognition as married couples. The plan to recognize same-sex unions would have lent legal recognition to any pair whether or not their relationship is sexual. The plan would have granted civil partners inheritance rights after nine years of living together, and alimony rights after three.
The government bill, the “DICO” (“Diritti di coppie conviventi”, or “Rights for cohabiting couples”) legislation, failed to come to a vote after being approved by the government in February this year. The move was condemned by Pope Benedict XIV who said, “No man-made law can subvert one made by the Creator without society being dramatically damaged in its very foundation.” Such laws, the Pontiff said, goes against the Natural Law, “weakens the family and penalizes children.”
As of October 2007, the DICO draft bill has been merged with other civil union proposals and the Senate’s Judiciary Committee has been discussing a new draft known as CUS (Contratto di Unione Solidale, Solidary Union Contract).