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(02/21/07) -

Italians Divided Over Civil Partnership Law

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Adults in Italy are split over a proposal to offer legal recognition to same-sex couples, according to a poll by Ispo released by Corriere della Sera. 47 per cent of respondents oppose the civil partnership law, while 45 per cent support it.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Adults in Italy are split over a proposal to offer legal recognition to same-sex couples, according to a poll by Ispo released by Corriere della Sera. 47 per cent of respondents oppose the civil partnership law, while 45 per cent support it.

In May 2006, Romano Prodi was formally appointed as prime minister. The centre-left Union (Unione) leader had previously served as head of government from May 1996 to October 1998.

On Feb. 8, the Italian government officially introduced the civil partnership law. The legislation seeks to allow couples who have lived together to register their union and be eligible for specific rights, regardless of their gender. Some rights will require three years of cohabitation, while others—such as hospital visitation—would have no set limit.

Last month, cardinal Camillo Ruini said the proposed legislation represents “a first step” towards same-sex marriage in Italy. Justice minister Clemente Mastella, who heads the centre-left Popular Alliance (UDEUR), has vowed to oppose the civil partnership law.

In 2003, the Vatican expressed concern on the topic of same-sex marriage through a document titled “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons.” The Church asked all Catholics—and especially Catholic politicians—to oppose the legal recognition of gay and lesbian partners.

Polling Data

Do you support or oppose the civil partnership law?

Support

45%

Oppose

47%

Not sure

8%

Source: Ispo / Corriere della Sera
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,917 Italian adults, conducted from Feb. 13 to Feb. 15, 2007. Margin of error is 2.5 per cent.