With the Italian parliament in deadlock, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has been drawn into the debate over legal recognition and protection for gay couples.
He has committed to bringing the civil unions bill to fruition, threatening a confidence vote in his government in a bid to galvanise the stalled discussions.
“I hope that in a few days we can end the debating game being played in the senate, then go to parliament and approve the bill quickly,” he said.
At issue is whether or not to allow a partner in a same-sex couple to adopt the biological child of the other partner. Pro-Vatican senators within Renzi’s Democratic Party are refusing to back the bill if adoption is permitted.
The main parties in the government will discuss the situation on Tuesday (February 23) ahead of debates in the senate.
A confidence vote, should it take place, would be expected within a week.