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Gay rights activists denounce civil unions 'refusenik'

27 settembre 2016 | 19.25
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Gay rights activists in the northwest Italian city of Turin have lodged a complaint with prosecutors and police against a local mayor who refused to officiate a civil union between two men.

Serafino Ferrino, mayor of the town of Favria, who is a practising Catholic, refused to conduct the civil union, saying the law that recently introduced these was "wrong".

After Ferrino's refusal, if the couple still wants to get a civil union in Favria, the head of its registry office will have to officiate instead. The alternative for the couple is to apply for a civil union in another town.

"Conscientious objection on the part of local officials is not permitted under law and Ferrino's comments are a grave rights violation," said The Gay Centre's spokesman Fabrizio Marrazzo.

"We are taking action against all town and city councils who don't apply the law."

Italy's parliament voted civil unions - including same-sex partnerships - into law in May after the government won a confidence vote on the fiercely debated bill.

The bill's drawn-out progress through parliament was accompanied by mass protests by Catholic groups saying it went too far and gay activists claiming it did not go far enough.

Italy had been the last major Western country not to legally recognize gay couples and the civil unions legislation has been heavily diluted due to opposition from conservative Catholic politicians and divisions within Renzi's ruling Democratic Party.

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