A local court in Milan has recognized a British civil partnership – the first time Italy has legally recognized a gay union from abroad.
Now the civil union between Cristian, a biologist, and Federico, an IT specialist, will be added to the Milan’s Registro delle Unioni Civili, a list of same-sex couples put in place by left-wing mayor Giuliano Pisapia.
The decision of the tribunal does not mean that Cristian and Federico’s civil partnership is now recognized by Italy.
But, thanks to the Registro, they can now apply for local welfare, local benefits and have their relationship recognized if their partner goes into hospital.
Cristian and Federico, two Italian residents, signed their civil partnership at the London Shakespeare’s Globe in June 2010, thanks to a temporary residence in the UK.
Now Federico tells Gay Star News: ‘We paid just £60 [$90 €70] and we could marry in front of 70 relatives and friends.’
Federico, who calls his civil partner ‘my husband’, adds: ‘We’ve been living together for the last eight years.
‘The recognition by the Milan tribunal is just a little thing, but it’s also an important step towards equality.
‘Now we want to proceed on the recognition of our partnership. We want the Italian bureaucracy to accept we should have the same rights of a married couple, as it is in the United Kingdom.
‘We have to say thanks to our lawyer, Marilisa D’Amico. We met her at a meeting for same-sex couples and we understood that she was the right person to fight for us.’
Interviewed by GSN, D’Amico, who's also a local councillor in the Milan's assembly, said: ‘Now, together with the lawyer Massimo Clara, we are following 20 Italian same-sex couples.
‘Italian judges should respect the European laws and decisions. They can not think that Italy is a separate state. Now we live in Europe.
‘Cristian and Federico have now asked for their recognition by the Anagrafe Nazionale, the national register of identities and families.
‘The tribunal’s decision allows them to ask for local benefits and local welfare from the council.
‘It means also that they can assist their partner at the hospital, which is not guaranteed by the Italian law.
'Of course, to proceed in their partnership, now they should appeal to other tribunals.’
Italy does not recognize same-sex couples. There is no civil partnership or same-sex marriage, even though several local councils have introduced Registri delle Unioni Civili.