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Italians rally for legal recognition for unmarried gay and heterosexual couples

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Italians rally for legal recognition for unmarried gay and heterosexual couples

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Demonstrators packed the Farnese Piazza in the Italian capital, Rome, in support of the bill to give those who live together out of wedlock rights such as inheritance, which married couples take for granted. Socialist deputy Enrico Boselli said, “I believe that this battle is a part of larger fight to bring about a secular state.” This woman said, “We don’t hide, we answer questions, and this is our message this is our every day life come and see it.”

Prime Minister Romano Prodi, a practising catholic, promised rights for de facto couples in his 2006 election campaign. This man said “We don’t want anymore than anyone else, we want normal rights like all other Italian taxpayers.” Barbara Pollastrini, equality minister, explained, “I am here to listen, I’m asking people not to build barricades but bridges. So we can have a peaceful dialogue.”

Catholics both in government and in opposition cite an article in the constitution recognising the family rights of “natural” unions” “based on marriage.” They insist this refers only to heterosexual couples.