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Italian gay man given paid leave for same-sex marriage

Tuscan company Publiacqua ignores law to give employee two-weeks off to marry his husband
Publiacqua's president Erasmo D'Angelis said that same-sex couples should have more rights.

An Italian gay man has obtained two weeks leave from his company to marry his husband in Brazil.

The news is making headlines in Italy, a country that does not recognize same-sex unions, partnerships or marriages.

Gioacchino Di Gioia from Prato, near Florence, married his partner at the end of September and, coming back to Italy, asked his company for time off work, which is given by law to every straight couple.

‘I tried but I did not expect to obtain it, because in Italy our marriage is not recognized,’ said Di Gioia.

But his company, Publiacqua, a utilities provider, agreed and Di Gioia obtained his two-weeks leave.

Publiacqua’s president, Erasmo D’Angelis, said: ‘We agreed without any doubt. Every company must think of its employees’ happiness.’

Di Gioia, who is a chemist and has controlled the pollution of the area served by Publiacqua since 1996, was ready to appeal to the European court for human rights.

‘But it has not been necessary. My company’s management has been clever and sensitive,’ he added.

Publiacqua’s president D’Angelis remarked: ‘Italy needs a new law giving same-sex couples the same rights of straight ones.’

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