Italy’s queers defiantly march against fascist government’s attack on same-sex parents
People take part in Rome's LGBTQ Pride parade under a banner reading in Italian, Rainbow Families Parents' Association. | Cecilia Fabiano / LaPresse via AP

Rome’s annual Pride parade wound its way through the Italian capital last week, providing a colorful counterpoint to the national government’s crackdown on surrogate pregnancies and same-sex parents.

About three dozen floats joined the event, including one celebrating what LGBTQ activists dub the “rainbow families” of same-sex couples with children.

Earlier this year the government, headed by far-right Premier Giorgia Meloni—who got her political start in the fascist Italian Social Movement party—told municipal officials to register only the biological parent when recording births. The policy strips recognition of the other parent in a same-sex couple.

Among those defying that order was Rome Mayor Roberto Gualtieri, who said he had registered the birth certificates last Friday of a boy, born in France, to an Italian woman and a French woman, as well as a girl, born in England, whose parents are Italian-English women.

Such registration automatically enables the non-biological parent to do a range of parental actions, from authorizing medical treatment to picking the child up from school without special permission.

The government’s comfortable majority in Parliament recently approved, at the preparatory commission level, a bill that would make it a crime for any Italian to use surrogacy, even abroad, to have a child.

Italy allows same-sex civil unions but not marriage. Italy also doesn’t allow single citizens to adopt children.

One of the thousands of Pride participants, musician Emma Ascoli, noted some other nations allow surrogate births and that “also heterosexual people resort to surrogacy, but while it wasn’t something related to LGBTQ people’s rights it was a non-issue.”

Italy’s courts at times have ordered municipal officials to register both members of a sex-same couple as the legal parents of a child born abroad. And the nation’s courts have repeatedly urged lawmakers to update legislation to reflect changing social norms.

Morning Star

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Roger McKenzie
Roger McKenzie

Roger McKenzie is the International Editor of Morning Star, Britain’s daily socialist newspaper. He is the author of the book "African Uhuru: The Fight for African Freedom in the Rise of the Global South" published by Manifesto Press.