Italy grants gay partners rights but only for politicians

Deputies in the lower house of parliament given health benefits for gay partners. But other Italians are angry they are getting rights normal same-sex couples don't yet enjoy

Italy grants gay partners rights but only for politicians
15 May 2013

The Italian Camera dei Deputati (the lower chamber of the Parliament) has approved a new rule which extends its politician’s health benefits to their gay partners.

Now LGBT ‘deputati’, or members of the parliament (MPs), who pay for their insurance, can have their rights extended to the men or the women they live with.

The move was pushed for by gay deputati Ivan Scalfarotto who wanted his own partner protected.

The breakthrough yesterday (14 May) came after MP Anna Paola Concia had tried, without success, to extend her rights to her wife during the last parliament. Concia is married abroad.

But this time agreement was reached thanks to the backing of left-wing and right-wing parties, which are now in a government coalition together.

Italian politics is still split over the issue however. Beppe Grillo’s Movimento 5 Stelle (M5s), which at the last elections (24 and 25 February) gained more than the 25% of the vote, branded the new right ‘a privilege of a caste’.

M5S is against ‘the clique of politicians’ and the high costs of the Italian politics and the Italian bureaucracy.

And they are not the only ones who are unhappy. Many normal Italians have gone online to complain that politicians are giving themselves rights which are not available to other LGBT Italians – the country still does not recognize gay and lesbian marriage.

One commentator on Il Fatto Quotidiano’s website wrote: ‘Why for the MPs only? Now in Italy there are class B same-sex couples as well.’

Sinistra Ecologia e Libertà’s leader, gay Puglia governor Nichi Vendola, tweeted: ‘This must not be a privilege for few people. Everyone deserves equal treatment.’

But Alessandro Zan MP said: ‘This is an important decision because it sanctions a principle of equality.

‘That same principle which has to be extended to everyone and which explains why it is urgent to have laws on gay couples.’

And gay Senator Sergio Lo Giudice (Partito Democratico) said: ‘Now I want the same to happen in the Senate. I requested to extend my health insurance to my husband Michele.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Get sporty with CDG Brazil

GSN meets the LGBT sports organization of Brazil, based in São Paulo
No thumbnail available

Gay actor Russell Tovey says it would be a ‘risk’ to play gay

The Job Lot actor revealed he auditioned for the lead role in Doctor Who, but says playing it would have 'terrified' him
No thumbnail available

US Supreme Court not expected to block marriage equality in Alabama

Come Monday, 9 February, the southern state is expected to start issuing marriage certificates to LGBTI couples
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Power Gays: Stefan Willi the party boy

GSN travels to Zurich to meet the driving force behind the city’s best gay parties
No thumbnail available

Ellen DeGeneres Tops OUT’s 8th Annual Power 50 List - Apple CEO Tim Cook is #2

Michael Sam, Rachel Maddow and Andy Cohen also in the top 10
No thumbnail available

Uganda lesbian, raped by uncle to ‘cure’ her, given chance to save her life

Due to be deported from the UK today, a 30-year-old fears she will be beaten, imprisoned and killed if she is forced to go back to Uganda
No thumbnail available

We're alive, Queeple: India’s 1st gay radio station arrives with a ‘big bang’

Launched at midnight, Qradio calls on listeners to create space for the community in South Asia and sensitize non-LGBT people
No thumbnail available

Michele Bachmann confronted by 'gay robot' in Iowa

Michele Bachmann stopped by man dressed as a robot outside restaurant and told she is a 'homophobe' and a 'robophobe'
No thumbnail available

Facebook removes page outing gay Ugandans

Social network takes down homophobic page after petition and campaign by gay rights groups