Italy’s highest administrative court, The Council of State, ruled on Tuesday that all cities in Italy must destroy any registries of same-sex couples married abroad.
The fight against these registries was led by Interior Minister Angelino Alfano (above).
“Last year my circular banning the transcription of gay marriages contracted abroad drew controversy, sometimes even violent aggression and a hail of appeals. Now the Council of State has borne me out entirely: marriage between two people of the same sex is not contemplated under Italian law, therefore the transcriptions made by local mayors are illegal and monitoring is the competence of the prefect. Very good,” Alfano said.
The ruling, which overturned an earlier verdict by the Lazio regional administrative tribunal (TAR) that transcriptions in civil registers of gay marriages contracted abroad could only be annulled by court order, was a blow to gay rights campaigners tired of waiting for lawmakers to give same-sex couples some form of legal recognition in Italy. Senator and foreign ministry undersecretary Benedetto Della Vedova described the ruling as “a victory for none and a defeat for all”. “It is the defeat of a country that remains at the starting post as regards gay rights, which urgently need to be regulated,” he said.
Meanwhile, a civil union bill has been introduced in Italy’s parliament and could become law by 2016 if it overcomes opposition.