Thousands protest in Italy against crackdown on same-sex parental rights

The LGBTQ+ community in Italy gathered to protest the recent actions of the far-right government to restrict the rights of same-sex parents.

Protest in Italy for the rights of same-sex parents. People are waving Pride and purple in solidarity with association Rainbow Families.
Image: @FraFortinguerra via Twitter

On Saturday, March 18, thousands of people gathered in Milan, Italy, to protest against the far-right government’s crackdown on the rights of same-sex parents. The protest took place after the political parties forming the coalition that is currently in power in the country took action to restrict parental rights for same-sex couples last week.

On Monday, March 13, Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala announced that the city would stop its practice of transcribing birth certificates created abroad for children of same-sex parents, following a letter on the matter sent by the Italian far-right government to all prefects in the country.

Only a day after, a Senate committee rejected a EU proposal that aims to guarantee that parenthood established in one of the member states is also recognised in all other EU countries. If enacted, the plan would ensure that the rights of same-sex parents and their children would be protected even in countries where they are not enshrined in national legislation, such as Italy.

Marriage and adoptions for same-sex couples are not recognised by law in Italy and decisions on matters of parental rights have been made on a case-by-case basis, with some local authorities, such as Milan, acting unilaterally to guarantee the recognition of such rights to same-sex parents living under their jurisdictions.


However, the current far-right government led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her party, Brothers of Italy, have put a strong emphasis on “traditional family values” and have been accused on multiple occasions of a wider crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights. The party also led the vote against the EU regulation, citing concerns over national sovereignty on matters of family law. With this move, Italy joined countries such as Hungary and Poland in refusing to transpose the regulation.

To protest these actions against the rights of same-sex parents in Italy, the LGBTQ+ community and allies gathered in a demonstration organised by groups Cig Arcigay Milano, Rainbow Families and Sentinelli di Milano.


President of Rainbow Families Alessia Crocini addressed the crowd, saying: “This Government thinks it will have an easy game to blackmail one, two, or three mayors. But what if these mayors became 100 or 1,000 or 10,000? When laws are unjust, they must be fought, circumvented, changed by any means possible.”

Elly Schlein, the newly elected leader of the Democratic Party, was among the politicians who attended the protests to show solidarity with same-sex couples and their families. Speaking of the recent decisions taken by the Italian government on the matter, she said: “We’re talking about trampled rights, when they’re already recognised by our constitution. We’re talking about girls and boys who grow up in our communities, and who go to our schools. It’s no longer tolerable; these families are tired of being discriminated against.”

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