A Serbian citizen has obtained an Italian visa for having married his gay Italian partner in Canada, even though Italy does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil partnerships.
Djiordje, born in Serbia, has been given the ‘permesso di soggiorno’, a temporary visa which is the first step to the permanent one, by Milan’s Questura – in Italy visas are given by the police.
He married Adrian, half Italian and half Canadian, in 2009, then he moved to Italy and, supported by Certi Diritti association, tried to obtain the paper.
It appears to contradict Italian law as the Mediterranean country gives no rights or official recognition to same-sex couples. But Djiordje and Adrian appealed following the European Union rule of citizens’ free movement.
Cassazione – the highest Italian court – in 2011 ruled that people can be husband or wife in Italy even if they are married abroad. But it's the first time this principle has been applied to a gay couple.
LGBT associations welcomed the news, but some right-wing commentators have criticized it.
Right-wing Italian newspaper Libero wrote: ‘Why it’s up to the police? Why can a family be made by a military force?
‘Other same-sex couples have been denied the same right. This is unfair and the constitution of families should be ruled by love, not by bureaucracy.’