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Italy Approves Same-Sex Unions Law

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

The country is among the last in Western Europe to adopt new laws for same-sex couples.

Pop the cork on the vino! A bill allowing same-sex civil unions in Italy has passed one of the last legal hurdles before becoming law.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for a confidence vote on the bill in Italy's Lower House, which the bill won 369-193. A procedural final vote will conclude later today.

"It is a day of celebration for many today," the prime minister posted on Facebook. "For anyone who feels finally recognized."

The bill only covers civil unions--not marriage. Even then, the bill has been weakened significantly since it was introduced because of fierce resistance from conservative, Catholic members of the Italian Senate. For example, the bill does not allow for one member of a same-sex union to adopt the children of the other. That provision had to be dropped before the bill could move forward.

In 2015, the European Court of Human Rights said that Italy had violated human rights law by failing to introduce or pass new laws recognizing same-sex couples.

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