May 142012
Pier Luigi Bersani

Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the Italian PD (Democrat Party) has called for more rights for LGBT people in an interview by the national newspaper l’Unità.

Bersani said: ‘If we’ll ever win the elections and form a cabinet, we’ll have to do something to recognize same-sex unions. But don’t call it “marriage”, because our constitution does not allow it.’

Polls show PD is currently Italy’s most popular party. Bersani’s move came in response to Barack Obama’s stance on gay marriage.

Bersani added: ‘We have to say no to the Far West [an anarchic situation]. This is a situation that must be ruled on, because same-sex couples have not any rights. But our main law, the constitution, is not so flexible to allow same-sex marriage.’

In Italy, LGBT associations have asked Bersani to act; also some gay and lesbian Democrats have called on the PD leader to follow the example coming from other European countries.

Anna Paola Concia, a PD member of parliament, said: ‘Our country has been waiting a law for the last 30 years. Now it’s time to decide to give same-sex couples rights and freedom.’

Gay activist and member of the regional parliament of Emilia-Romagna Franco Grillini, of the IDV party (Italy of Values), replied to Bersani: ‘It is not true that our constitution does not allow gay marriage. The Corte di Cassazione (one of Italy’s high courts) recently ruled that same-sex couples can ask a tribunal to recognize their rights.’