Italy legalized same-sex civil unions in 2016, but stopped short of granting gay couples the right to adopt.
Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of Milan to protest against the measures of the new right-wing government in Italy to restrict the rights of same sex parents.
“You explain to my son that I’m not his mother,” read a sign held up in a sea of rainbow flags that filled one of the northern city’s central plazas on Saturday.
Italy legalized same-sex civil unions in 2016, but the opposition of the Catholic Church it meant that it stopped short of granting gay couples the right to adopt.
Instead, courts have made case-by-case decisions in legal actions taken by parents, although some local authorities have chosen to act unilaterally.
Milan had been registering children of same-sex couples conceived abroad through surrogacy, which is illegal in Italy, or medically assisted reproduction, which is only available to heterosexual couples.
But its centre-left mayor, Beppe Sala, revealed this week that these searches had stopped after the Interior Ministry sent a letter insisting that the courts must decide.
“It is an obvious step backwards from a political and social point of view, and I put myself in the shoes of those parents who thought they could count on this possibility in Milan,” he said in a podcast while vowing to fight for change.
Fabrizio Marrazzo of the Gay Party said some 20 children are waiting to be registered in Milan and condemned the change as “unfair and discriminatory”.
A mother or father who is not legally recognized as the father of their child can face enormous bureaucratic problems, including the risk of losing the child if the registered father dies or the relationship breaks down.
Elly Schlein, the newly elected leader of the center-left Democratic Party, was among the opposition politicians who attended Saturday’s protest, where many activists criticized the new national government.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloniwhose far-right Brothers of Italy party finished first in the September elections, places 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 as head of a right-wing coalition that includes matthew salviniAnti-immigration League of .
Earlier this week, a Senate committee voted against an EU plan to force member states to recognize same-sex parental rights granted elsewhere in the bloc.