Sergio Chiamparino, the mayor of Turin, Italy, 'married' a lesbian couple who have been together for nine years in a symbolic ceremony at the Rotonda de Valentino on Saturday.
Italian paper La Stampa reported that the couple had turned to him in an effort to institutionalize their love, and he agreed to serve at the ceremony. Same-sex marriage is not legal in Italy.
Said Chiamparino: "I cannot marry you because Italian law does not allow it. But I wanted to attend this beautiful ceremony in the hope that my presence would serve to tell everyone that you are first-class citizens, like all of us…I'm here to put a symbolic seal on this union. It's a moment that sends a powerful message of happiness and suffering. Happiness because it is obvious that you love one another so much — suffering, because you cannot fully recognize that love."