Italy has finally joined other Western European nations in legally recognising same-sex relationships, although not embracing full marriage equality.
On Wednesday evening a majority of lawmakers voted in favour of a civil unions bill in a final vote in parliament. President Sergio Mattarella is expected to quickly sign the bill into law.
The legislation has not been without contention; local LGBT groups believe that the bill was unacceptably compromised in order to be approved by MPs.
The original bill would have allowed gay people to adopt their partner’s biological children and also included a fidelity clause, requiring couples to remain faithful to each other. Both were removed to appease opponents who claimed that the latter clause was an attempt to emulate marriage vows.
ILGA-Europe said that while it acknowledged the significance of the occasion it also urged Italian lawmakers “to examine ways to protect rainbow families and their children without delay”.
It added that, “The Italian LGBTI community, their families and friends deserve to be fully protected and recognised by their state”.
The vote took place the day after the organisation released its ranking of LGBTI equality in European nations, which saw Italy achieving a score of 20% – one of the lowest among the 28 EU members.