Thousands protest against same-sex unions in Rome

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As Italy’s Prime Minister pushes for same-sex civil unions, Italians have gathered in Rome to make their objections.

Parts of Italy – including Rome – have already begun recognising same-sex partnerships, but Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is attempting to  push through a bill to allow same-sex civil unions across the country.

Italy is one of the only countries in Western Europe that does not have any form of national legal recognition for same-sex couples.

Rome’s San Giovanni Square was filled with protesters, most of whom believed that same-sex partnerships would cause harmful effects to children.

AFP reports that protesters carried signs saying things such as “Let’s defend our children,” and “The mother without the father is like Nutella without bread”.

Protester Giuseppe Ripa said: “In my children’s schools they are talking about families made up of two fathers or two mothers, without asking parents’ permission.

“It’s dangerous and wrong.”

In April, Rome’s mayor Ignazio Marino celebrated the introduction of civil unions in Rome with a mass wedding ceremony.

The Mayor has repeatedly clashed with the government for registering same-sex marriages that  were registered abroad. The Mayor of Milan said he faced criminal charges for doing the same thing.

The European Union is putting member states under pressure to adopt same-sex marriage and civil unions, and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has called on officials to push forward on civil unions across the country. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said last year he too supports civil unions.