Tens of thousands of gay rights supporters and LGBT families rallied in Rome to protest against the watering down of Italy’s civil unions bill, which no longer allows adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples.
“Today in Italy, in 2016, we still have to beg for charity, for crumbs, in terms of rights. We want equal weddings, adoptions and full rights. Full rights,” said Alessia Avellino, a 21-year old sociology student.
The bill, which had to be cut back to the bare bones to pass in the senate and is now being examined in the lower house, is only a small step towards securing rights for homosexual families, and are especially angry over the scrapping of a clause which would have allowed gay people to adopt their partners’ biological children a proposal the prime minister, Matteo Renzi, was forced to dump under pressure from the Catholic church.
Supporters of the of gay rights hope to force a change to the draft law before it is ratified – or at least open a debate on rights that could eventually lead to an adoption bill.
“The law is unsatisfactory. It’s a first step, [but] it doesn’t give us those rights that are fundamentally ours,” law student Edoardo Messineo said.