ROME, November 26, 2013 ( – In an act that some have called a “derailment” of the Italian constitution, the recently-elected mayor of Rome has announced the establishment of a “registry” in the capital for same-sex partners and expressed approval of adoptions by homosexual partners.

The move has been blasted by pro-family groups. Zema Angelo, director of RomaSette, the newspaper of the Diocese of Rome, said the idea is “a derailment from the constitutional principles and national legislation prepared with care, in full awareness of the futility of a possible launch of the registry and its legal irrelevance.”

Mayor Ignazio Marino said November 14th on Repubblica TV that he is “not afraid of the word marriage between persons of the same sex” and supported adoption of children by homoesxuals provided it’s in the interests of the child. He added that Italy is “terribly backward on the subject of rights”.

“If two people love each other enough to get married, I do not see where the problem is,” Marino said. 


The civil registry of homosexual partnerings was one of Marino’s promises during this summer’s election campaign. 

On the question of adoption of children by homosexual partners, currently not allowed under Italian law, Marino said, “If I had asked this question in 1987, I probably would have answered that I was not favorable. Then following [the birth of] my daughter in a city abroad where I had classmates with parents of the same sex, I realized that I have no opposition as long as the adoption is made in the primary interest of the child.”

Marino was elected mayor of the Italian capital in June this year, unseating Gianni Alemanno, the “centre-right” candidate who was strongly pro-life and pro-family. Alemanno was quoted by the state broadcaster RAI, saying Marino’s comments were a “pure provocation” and nothing more than “homage to uniquely progressive thinking”.

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“I ​​wonder why a mayor who is supposed to represent all the Romans are going to tuck into controversial and divisive issues,” Alemanno added. The issue, he said, is up to the national parliament, not the city of Rome, since the definition of marriage is a constitutional matter. In answer to Marino’s accusation that Italy is “backwards,” Alemanno added, “We need equal rights for all, not special rights for anyone.”

The city’s proposal for the registry says that the registered parties “will be able to take advantage of tax benefits, and, in general, be subject to the same provisions as provided for by the acts and provisions of the City of Rome, the departments and ministries responsible for married people”. Ceremonies, it says, will be conducted in the same “premises to be used in the celebration of civil marriages”. 

The announcement has drawn considerable opposition from the grassroots, including that of an activist group, the Committee of the Family, who said the move is simply a ploy to bring in a constitutional change to the definition of the family as in other European countries.

“It is clear that Italy is in the process of trying to disrupt the family unit, eliminating the traditional figures of father and mother,” the group said in a statement. 

“We fear not only the emergence of an equality of rights and duties between married couples and partners, but also that the register of civil unions is just the first step towards the recognition of marriage between same-sex couples and the subsequent opening to the adoption by the latter.

“We are convinced that in a period of austerity with the current economic crisis that is fraying Italy, there is no need to waste resources through initiatives that seek to destroy the identity of this country, something that should instead be valued and encouraged.”

In his editorial in RomaSette, Zema noted that the announcement came only a few hours after an appeal by Pope Francis in front of the highest authorities of the Italian state for individuals and institutions to support the family, which “asks to be appreciated, valued and protected”.

It is a “provocation against the state,” Zema said, given that the “regulation of various aspects of living in ‘de facto’ families, could be solved with the rules already in force in the Civil Code.”