John M. Becker

Rome's Mayor Defies Government, Registers Same-Sex Marriages

Filed By John M. Becker | October 20, 2014 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Catholic Church, gay marriage, Italy, marriage equality, marriage recogntion, Roman Catholic Church, Rome, same-sex marriage

rome-marriage-registration.jpgThe mayor of Rome, Italy defied his national government on Saturday by registering the legal marriages of 16 same-sex couples performed abroad, the Associated Press reports:

Gay marriage is illegal in Italy. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano recently sent a notice to local prefects saying any registrations of foreign gay marriages would be voided, and Rome's prefect vowed to do so immediately.

Nevertheless, Mayor Ignazio Marino received thunderous applause upon arrival at the city hall reception room where the couples and their loved ones gathered to make the marriages official in Rome's city ledger. Marino transcribed the date and locations of their weddings, including in Spain, Portugal and the U.S.

Marino said Saturday was an important day in the fight for equal rights and that "the most important right is to say to your companion 'I love you' and to have that be recognized."

The AP report notes that Marino's move brings the freedom-to-marry debate "within walking distance of the Vatican." Predictably, Italy's Catholic bishops condemned the mayor for registering the couples' marriages on the same day that a Vatican summit on marriage and family was wrapping up in Vatican City. That summit produced a document that talked about homosexuality as a problem and took a swipe at the loving marriages of same-sex couples.

Video of the event is after the break.

Photo via Twitter.
Video h/t: Towleroad.

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