Italy’s biggest fashion designer to extend benefits to same-sex couples

Italian fashion house, Gucci, is to become one of first major designers in the country to give same-sex newlyweds the same treatment as heterosexual couples.

Despite civil unions being passed by the Italian Senate last month, the Florence-based company is taking action before it is legally required to and offering same-sex couples the same 14 day honeymoon period it offers to staff in straight relationships.

Italy’s biggest fashion designer to extend benefits to same-sex couples

In a statement announcing the move, the company said it was “further confirmation of the spirit of inclusion and modernity of the Florentine brand”.

A number of multinationals who operate in Italy, including Citibank and Ikea, already offer honeymoon days to same-sex couples who get married abroad.

Many have said these rights will be extended when the new civil unions bill comes into force.

In 2013, a call centre in Milan allowed a gay employee time off to get a civil union in Germany – effectively sanctioning the practise.

With strong opposition from the Catholic Church, the civil unions bill only passed the Senate after a clause about adoption was removed.

The bill now has to pass through the lower house before it’s able to become law. However, with strong government support, experts believe it’s unlikely to experience any delay.

Once the bill is signed into law, it could be in force in as little as two months and will extend a number of key benefits to same-sex couples, which are currently not offered.

Italy is the last country in Western Europe that doesn’t have any form of recognition for LGBT couples and was instructed by the European Court of Human Rights that this had to change.