Prime Minister Mario Monti

Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti, facing an election next month to secure a second term, has come out against same-sex marriage and adoption.

“My thought is that the family should be made up of one man and one woman, and I consider it necessary that children should grow up with a mother and a father,” said Monti in a television interview on Sky Tg24 on Wednesday.

Italy lags far behind the rest of Europe by not offering any significant legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

Monti revealed in the interview, however, that he might back limited same-sex partnerships. “A parliament could find good solutions for civil partnerships or civil unions,” he said, adding “But we cannot call them ‘families.'”

It’s the first time that Monti, who replaced the contentious Silvio Berlusconi over a year ago, has commented on the controversial issue of gay marriage.

Monti’s election campaign has been endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church through its official newspaper. The Vatican has become an increasingly vocal opponent of same-sex marriage across the world.

Earlier this month, Italy’s Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can be as good parents as opposite-sex couples.

“There is no scientific certainty or concrete evidence but only prejudice” behind the belief that “living in a homosexual family is damaging for the growth of a child,” the court said.

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