Thousands of LGBTs and allies marched through the downtown district of Rome, the capital city of Italy and where the Vatican is located, on Saturday to call for same-sex marriage rights.
The colorful parade saw decorated parade floats and trucks, and participants on foot over cobblestone streets and passing iconic landmarks.
In February, Italy’s highest court ruled that same-sex couples are not entitled to marriage rights under the country’s constitution.
Although some Italian cities have allowed gay couples who legally wed in other countries to register their unions locally, they have been ordered to stop doing so by interior minister Angelino Alfano.
After Ireland’s referendum which allowed same-sex marriage, Italian lawmakers who support marriage equality have reportedly spoken out in favor of swift passage of the proposed legislation to allow civil unions.
‘Ireland is giving us a lesson in civility,’ gay Italian politician Nichi Vendola, president of the Apulia region, has been quoted as saying.
The Catholic Church is said to hold much influence in the predominantly Catholic country.
The Lower House of Parliament earlier in the week on Wednesday approved a motion same-sex civil unions which was promoted by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD).
There are however no plans to allow full marriage.
According to a Huffington Post report, a poll taken last year showed that more than 85 percent backed the recognition of ‘civil unions’ to give same-sex partners more rights although just a quarter of the population in Italy supported same-sex marriage.