Home / News / World /  Meloni govt in Italy curbs same-sex parents' rights; massive protests erupt. All you need to know

The far-right-led Italian government's move to restrict rights of same sex parents, have met with severe protests and demonstrations in Milan. The Giorgia Meroni's government's Interior Minister this week forced Milan to limit parental rights to the biological parent when same-sex couples register their children with the city.

This has faced severe criticism from Italians. "You explain to my son that I'm not his mother," read one sign held up amid a sea of rainbow flags that filled one of the northern city's central squares.

The head of Italy's opposition also joined the protests and termed the far-right wing government's crackdown on LGBTQ families as ideological, cruel and discriminatory and vowed. Elly Schlein had in 2020 revealed she was in a relationship with another woman. 

The registration curb imposed by the Meloni-led government will have serious implication on LGBTQ families. The registrations are required for parents to get their relationship to a child recognized for purposes such as authorizing medical treatment or participation in school outings. The national government’s prefecture for Milan cited a loophole in limiting that authority to a biological parent.

Italy legalised same-sex civil unions in 2016, but opposition from the Catholic Church meant it stopped short of granting gay couples the right to adopt.

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 recognised 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 traditional family values.

"Yes to natural families, no to the LGBT lobby!" she said in a speech last year before her election at the head of a right-wing coalition that includes Matteo Salvini's anti-immigration League.

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.

Meanwhile, Meloni was greeted during a speech in Rimini with some delegates singing the protest song at her arrival. Meloni was speaking during a convention of the three main Italian unions, CGIL, CISL, and UIL when some unionists sang the song and left the hall with their fists raised.

(With agency inputs)

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