Italy’s far-right prime minister tells Milan to stop registering same-sex couples’ children

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has a long history of supporting right-wing policies. (Getty)

Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni, the country’s first far-right leader since World War II, has demanded councils stop registering same-sex parents’ children.

Milan’s mayor, Giuseppe Sala, confirmed on Monday (13 March) that he’d received instruction from the government’s interior ministry to stop registering children who had two mothers or two fathers.

Italy has no formal protections for same-sex parents. Same-sex unions were legalised in 2016 –  a move which survived opposition form Catholic and conservative groups across the country – but Italy did not grant equal adoption rights over fears that this would encourage surrogate pregnancies.

As it stands, surrogate pregnancies in Italy are illegal – although Milan has registered surrogate births to same-sex couples in the past. Courts in some parts of Italy have also allowed people in same-sex relationships to adopt their partner’s children.

Sala said that he would respect the order, but would keep fighting to improve the rights of same-sex parents and their children.

The Circle of Homosexual Culture Mario Mieli, an Italian gay civil rights group, responded to Meloni’s call by saying that, despite the enormous blow, they will continue fighting for LGBTQ+ people throughout Italy.

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The group’s president, Mario Colamarino, said: “We continue to fight for the recognition of equal rights for all and all since birth.

“If the future is in the hands of the new generations, as they say, then we must rally around the rainbow families and join the fight [of] Sala and other mayors of Italy. No one must stay behind, to ensure that our children grow up in a world we can be proud of.”

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Giorgia Meloni’s party has a long anti-LGBTQ+ record

Meloni was elected in September 2022, becoming Italy’s first-ever female prime minister. She said she’d “govern for everyone”, but her stances against abortion, LGBTQ+ rights and immigration suggest otherwise.

Italy's new prime minister Giorgia Meloni wears a dark outfit as she stares somewhere off camera
Giorgia Meloni has said she won’t roll back LGBTQ+ rights in Italy, but activists are concerned for the future under her government. (Getty)

In March of this year, she said children deserved a mother and father, and compared surrogacy to “slavery”.

In 2020, Meloni told reporters that she didn’t believe it was the “Italian reality” that LGBTQ+ people are discriminated against or that there had been an escalation in hate crimes against queer people in the country.

In 2021, Brothers of Italy – the party she has led since 2014 – banded together with the League party to block ratification of a bill that would have made violence against LGBTQ+ and disabled people, as well as misogyny, a hate crime. 

booklet on the Brothers of Italy’s website explained the party opposed the bill, saying it promoted “gender ideology” – a term used by some hard-right groups and anti-trans voices – and threatened “freedom of thought”.

Last summer, she backed Spain’s hard-line right-wing Vox party saying: “Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby. Yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology!”

Then, in September, she told The Washington Post that adoption by a heteronormative couple is “what’s best” for a “child who’s unlucky”. 

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