Despite having an incredibly rich queer history, Italy’s laws safeguarding LGBTQ rights have lagged behind the rest of the EU. It was only in October 2020 when laws preventing discrimination on a racial or religious basis were amended to include sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The bill, which provoked fierce debate across the country, finally allows hate crimes against women and the LGBTQ community to be recognized and extends basic human rights protections to all Italians.
In 2016 Italy passed laws permitting civil unions, which was a huge step in allowing the Italian LGBTQ community to exist publicly as they are. However, Italy remains one of the only major countries in Western Europe with a same-sex marriage ban. Despite a landmark case in 2017 even same-sex marriages conducted outside of Italy are not recognized and must be registered in the country as civil unions. Adoption and the use of assistive reproductive technology, such as IVF, for same-sex couples remains banned.
For decades the influence of the Catholic church in civil matters has held Italy back when it comes to protecting against discrimination and extending basic civil rights. The more progressive tone set by Pope Francis has helped bring the country forward, but more work needs to be done. Polls show that approximately 70% of Italians believe that there should be full equality for the LGBTQ community, and many hopes that with the passage of the anti-discrimination laws last year, that full recognition and acceptance of rainbow families will follow.
While same-sex marriage is still not recognized, Italy remains a popular spot for destination weddings. It is hard to resist the romance of getting married against the sparkling back drop of Lake Como, a villa in Venice, or a winery in Tuscany. The options are endless for an amazing Italian wedding and honeymoon! It is advisable to work with a professional Italian wedding planner that knows how caters to same-sex couples, as they can handle all the legalities and logistics to make sure their clients’ special day runs smoothly.