Rome’s Trevi Fountain lights up rainbow as MPs approve gay civil unions

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Rome’s Trevi Fountain lit up rainbow last night, after Italy finally passed a law granting partnership rights to same-sex couples.

Yesterday, Italy’s Parliament finally passed a bill creating same-sex civil unions, in the face of strong opposition from the  powerful Catholic church, sparking rebellions from Catholic lawmakers.

The law – which came about after the European Court of Human Rights upheld complaints of discrimination over the country’s lack of recognition for same-sex couples – was passed after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called a confidence vote in himself to force the issue through.

LGBT activists across Italy were jubilant after the vote passed by 369-193. Italy was the last country in Western Europe with no recognition for same-sex partnerships.

The occasion was marked across Rome – with the world-famous Trevi Fountain lit up in rainbow colours at the city centre, as people gathered to celebrate.

The gesture is reminiscent of that in the United States, when the White House was lit up in pride colours after same-sex marriage passed.

Italian MP Paola Concia said: “It’s a historic day for Italy, because we were the last EU country among the founders of the EU, to approve civil unions. At last, we are among the more civilized countries.

“For Italy it is an important day because it will change the lives of many men and women for the better, but it will also change our country for the better.”

Rights activist Maria Laura Annibali lamented that provisions for same-sex adoptions were ditched from the bill to attempt to appease Catholic rebels.

She said: “For me, it is a great joy, and it would have been even greater if they had included the adoptions for our friends, men and women from the Rainbow Families, for their children.

“But for a woman of my age, a day like this is the coronation of what I thought a marriage could be when I was a child. They don’t want to call it marriage, but for us all it is a bill on marriage.”