(Blogmensgo, gay blog of September 21, 2016) Three months after same-sex civil unions came into effect, the mayor of Rome celebrated the first same-sex civil union in the Italian capital. On September 17, 2016, and without the support of her party (M5S), Virginia Raggi “married” Luca de Sario (30) and Francisco Raffaele Villarusso (43).
Initially the two men had planned to get married in Spain. However, when civil unions were legalized in Italy, they decided to apply for the civil union in Italy instead because same-sex marriages concluded abroad cannot be transferred to Italy yet.
Italy’s civil unions have several advantages that are quite comparable with regular marriages, for example in legal aspects (taking on one’s partner’s name or double names, hospital visitation rights), diplomatic rights (right of residence for a foreign partner) and tax law (widow’s pensions).
On the other hand, there is no right to adopt one’s partner’s children.
The following report by Euronews gives a good overview of this first civil union in Rome:
When we look more closely however, we can see differences in the right to choose a name between civil unions and regular married couples: Partners in a civil union may either choose to keep their respective names or they have to use a double name jointly. Married couples have more options to choose from.
Moreover, changing one’s name means a lot more than just modifying some documents. In fact, all relevant documents have to be issued again from scratch, and even social security and tax numbers have to be applied for again.
And it gets worse: Rental and loan agreements have to be made again, just like all the paperwork with one’s employer – simply because someone changed their name after concluding a civil union.
Actually, these discriminating provisions are not a result from the law itself but from the relevant implementation rules.
It is no surprise that the Italian LGBT organizations want these provisions changed as soon as possible. This is all the more important because gay marriages concluded abroad shall be accepted in Italy as a result of the new law.
Almost two years ago, the mayor of Rome had married 16 gay and lesbian couples during a big wedding ceremony widely covered by media although this wedding show had no legal implications (see our article).