Italian court recognises gay marriage abroad
'Revolutionary' ruling 'merits positive political response'
(ANSA) - Grosseto, April 10 - A court in Grosseto has taken the historic step of recognising a same-sex marriage contracted overseas, authorising two men to have their union recorded in the local civil registry.
"It is a unique precedent for our country," said centre-left Democratic Party (PD) Senator and ex-Arcigay president Sergio Lo Giudice. "(The couple) have obtained what until this moment municipal authorities and tribunals have always denied: recognition of their status as a married couple under foreign law," said Aurelio Mancuso, President of Equality Italia. The case was brought by two men from Grosseto, aged 68 and 57, who contracted a civil marriage in New York in December 2012 but had their attempt to record their union in the local civil registry turned down on grounds that two people of the same sex cannot be married under Italian law. Local judge Paolo Cesare Ottati upheld their appeal late Wednesday, arguing that the Italian civil code "contains no reference to sex in relation to the requisites" for marriage and that there is "no impediment to the registration of a marriage contracted abroad".
Registration is not by nature "constitutive, but only confirmative" of an act "that is already valid," he ruled. The sentence "is a revolutionary event that deserves a positive response from politicians," Gay Centre spokesperson Fabrizio Marrazzo said.
"The matter does not only concern thousands of Italian gay and lesbian couples who have wed in foreign countries where gay marriage is permitted, but it also clearly opens a new chapter with regard to gay couples in Italy".