In May 2016 Italy became last Western European country to join the list of over 20 worldwide countries that have legalised same-sex weddings. The then Prime Minister – Matteo Renzi – succeeded in making this law by a Parliamentary vote of confidence in the government that enabled the bill to go through automatically – something that caused some upset with the Catholic Church.
This is a step forward for many same-sex couples in Italy however, the law did fall short of granting same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to adoption rights and law – The bill will not allow gay couples the right to adopt their partners’ biological children, which can lead to gay parents having no legal rights over their children, a failing that was strongly criticised by gay rights groups. A duty of fidelity between homosexual couples was also dropped, because conservatives said it smacked too much of traditional marriage.
For now the focus is on the positive which is that the civil union bill allows the right for the couple to share a surname, draw on their partner’s pension when they die and inherit each other’s assets in the same way as married heterosexual couples. In order for this all to happen same sex couples will now be allowed an official ceremony to take place in Italy’s Comune – Town Halls.
Some town halls in Italy have already performed their first civil union / same-sex ceremonies – the Amalfi Coast is leading the way. Ravello Town Hall has issued a document detailing the information related to weddings in Ravello now with the latest information related to civil union ceremonies.
Wedding planners are now able to respond to requests from international couples wanting a gay destination wedding in Italy / civil union ceremony. The civil union is legal in Italy and will be legal in your home country as long as same-sex ceremonies are recognised in your home country.
For those couples wishing to have a civil union ceremony in Italy they will be asked to provide specific documentation originating from their home country which may require translation in Italy. The most recent update confirms that Same-sex couples have to appear two times before the Town Hall in Italy.
The first to make the request in person for civil union directly to the Anagrafe Office. The officer will then check details and receive the documents for the wedding to go ahead and will also fix the date of the civil union. Between the first appointment and civil union there will be a gap of 15 days minimum.
When planning this requirement needs to be taken into consideration for travel plans. All in all, this is fantastical news for couples wishing to have a gay destination wedding in Italy.
Article updated April 2017.