Italy has just approved its first ever motion for gay civil unions

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The Lower House in Italy has just for the first time approved a motion which commits the government to promote the adoption of a law for gay civil unions.

It is the first time such a motion has been approved by MPs in Italy, as other motions have been rejected.

According to Ansa, the motion, from the Democratic Party, which passed its first reading, commits the government “to promote the adoption of a law on civil unions, particularly with regard to the condition of the people of same sex”.

The government must also “ensure equal treatment throughout the nation”.

Italy has faced long-time calls from within to formalise legal recognition for same-sex cohabiting couples including from Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Justice Minister Andrea Orlando.

Mr Renzi privately said: “Civil unions cannot be delayed any longer.”