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Protests in Italy as government restricts same-sex parent rights

Protests broke out in Italy as the country’s new government led by Giorgia Meloni restricted the rights of same-sex parents. According to media reports, hundreds of people have taken to the streets in Milan to protest against the move on Saturday. The protestors waved rainbow flags across the city to demonstrate their angst over the decision. Italy legalised same-sex civil unions in 2016, however, opposition from the Catholic Church meant it stopped short of granting gay couples the right to adopt. Decisions have. instead, been made on a case-by-case basis by the courts in legal action taken by parents although some local authorities have decided to act unilaterally. Earlier this week, a Senate committee voted against an EU plan to oblige member states to recognise the rights of same-sex parents granted elsewhere in the bloc.

Milan had been registering children of same-sex couples conceived overseas through surrogacy – which is illegal in Italy – or medically assisted reproduction, which is only available for heterosexual couples. A mother or father who is not legally recognized as their child's parent can face huge bureaucratic problems, with the risk of losing the child if the registered parent dies or the couple's relationship breaks down. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, whose far-right Brothers of Italy party came top in September elections, puts a strong emphasis on what they call traditional family values. "Yes to natural families, no to the LGBT lobby!".

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