Italian law change a ‘defeat for democracy’

The Italian government’s approval of a bill granting legal recognition to non-married heterosexual and homosexual couples is a defeat for democracy and family life, a prominent Italian bishop has said.

The legislation was passed by the Italian Senate in February after its sponsors removed a clause allowing a non-biological parent in a homosexual union to adopt the biological children of his or her partner, and received final governmental approval on May 11.

Chieti-Vasto’s Archbishop Bruno Forte, who served as special secretary of the Synod on the Family, said while civil unions have been debated for years, the passing of the bill through two confidence motions without a “free and open debate” was “unfair”,  particularly regarding an issue that has “ethical weight and social and cultural repercussions”.

“It is certainly a defeat and also an impoverishment of democratic life on a question that can have an enormous impact on the future of society,” Dr Forte said.