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Thousands protest against civil unions in Italy

2016-01-31
Rallies were held across Italy on Saturday to protest the potential introduction of civil unions to the country. The 'Family Day' was marked in 80 cities, including the Circus Maximus in Rome. Organisers claimed up to 2 million people had taken part, with more conservative estimates citing tens of thousands of people being involved. The proposed legislation which would see civil unions introduced to Italy, for same sex couples as well as heterosexual couples. "We are here in Rome to defend the family, not only our family but all the families in Italy and all the families in the world," organiser Armando Mantuano said. The Italian Senate began examining the bill last Thursday, and are expected to vote on it in mid-February before it goes to the lower house of parliament. italian-senate Another of the rally's organisers Simone Pillon, said, “We want the whole law to be withdrawn, no ifs and no buts. Children need to have a father and a mother.” Earlier this month, up to 1 million Italians had rallied across the country in support of civil unions. Italy remains the only country in western Europe which has not yet provided any legal security for same sex couples - something for which the European Court of Human Rights has criticised them. The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has long promised the introduction of the bill. Italy remains a fairly conservative, Catholic country, where support for civil unions currently stands at about 46%. Pope Francis has spoken against the introduction of the measure, saying "There can be no confusion between the family desired by God and any other kind of union." More stories 1 million rally for civil unions in Italy New Dolce and Gabbana range celebrates gay families