Italian fashion house Gucci has announced that it is to extend its domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples in registered partnerships.
This includes allowing them 15 days of honeymoon leave if they have married abroad.
The ‘abroad’ proviso is because gay couples cannot yet register their partnership in Italy. It is expected that when this changes Gucci will extend the same benefits to same-sex couples within the country.
Italy has been the last country in Western Europe to pass legislation allowing gay couples to enter into civil unions – having faced stiff opposition from the Catholic church and right-wing politicians.
Last month, the Italian senate passed legislation to pave the way for civil unions, but LGBTI campaigners were disappointed that the legislation was watered down before being passed – with clauses allowing for gay couples to step-adopt their partner’s children removed from the final wording.
Some multi-national brands, such as IKEA and Citibank, have already extended employee benefits to same-sex couples. Gucci’s announcement is significant because it is an Italian company with a truly global reputation.
Part of the Kering Group, the Florence-based fashion house’s revenue for 2015 was just under €4billion ($4.4billion), up 11.5% on its 2014 figures.
It recently dressed Madonna and her dancers for the singer’s Rebel Heart tour, and recently announced a similar arrangement with Florence Welch for the upcoming Florence and the Machine tour dates.
In a statement, a Gucci spokesperson said the decision, ‘confirms the spirit of inclusion and modernity of the Florentine brand.’
The civil rights bill approved by the Senate last month has now passed to Italy’s lower house for approval. It is expected to become law in the next couple of months.