A symbolic same-sex marriage in Bologna, north of Italy, has split the city’s political parties and been condemned by the church.
Two days ago, local councillor Sergio Lo Giudice, a former president of LGBT organization Arcigay, 'married' two women at the Hospice Seragnoli, a hospital for terminally ill patients.
Ida and Mariagrazia, the latter hospitalized for a severe illness, became wife and wife thanks to Lo Giudice, who was wearing the official outfit of the local mayor.
The marriage carries no legal weight as Italy hasn't legislated for same-sex partnerships.
But many in Bologna have condemned the marriage. The local bishop Giovanni Silvagni said: ‘This is a move against nature and against the order.’
The Partito Democratico (Democratic Party) are also divided over the move.
Local gay councillor Benedetto Zacchiroli said: ‘Same-sex marriage is very important, but this one has made people laugh.’
Lo Giudice has defended his actions: ‘I made Ida and Mariagrazia happy. This is so important to me and to them.’
He married the two women reading all the European laws and decisions defending same-sex unions.
Only Franco Grillini, regional councillor for Italia dei Valori party, Italy of Values, backs Lo Giudice’s move: ‘Sergio was right in marrying the two women. He’s been very brave and in Italy we need politicians like him.’