The Italian government has recently come under fire for its discriminatory stance towards families headed by same-sex couples. This issue came to light when the Interior Ministry forced Milan to limit parental rights to the biological parent when same-sex couples register their children with the city. This bureaucratic crackdown on LGBTQ families has been met with widespread criticism and calls for legislation to better recognize and protect their rights.
The move to restrict the rights of parents in same-sex relationships has been described as cruel and discriminatory, and it has been condemned by Elly Schlein, the head of Italy’s opposition Democratic Party. Schlein, who herself is in a relationship with another woman, joined thousands of people at a demonstration in Milan to protest the government’s decision.
These registrations are required for parents to get their relationship to a child recognized for purposes such as authorizing medical treatment or participation in school outings. The national government’s prefecture for Milan cited a loophole in limiting that authority to a biological parent. This decision has been widely criticized by LGBTQ rights activists, who view it as evidence of the government’s discrimination toward families headed by same-sex couples.
Schlein accused the Premier Giorgia Meroni’s government of “cruelly lashing out” at the children of gay parents and denying them rights. “We are talking about rights being trampled upon when they are already recognized by our constitution. We are talking about girls and boys already growing up in our communities, going to our schools,” Schlein said. “This is no longer tolerable. These families are tired of being discriminated against.”
The decree issued by the prefecture also says parental rights must be limited to the biological parent even for children of same-sex couples who first were registered in other European Union member countries. This has led LGBTQ rights groups to claim that the decision by an Italian Senate commission to block the recognition of EU documents puts Italy in line with countries such as Poland and Hungary, who are strong allies of the Meloni government.
Schlein has vowed to push through legislation to better recognize and protect the rights of LGBTQ families. She said she would press to open debate on legislation to close the legal loophole that resulted in the crackdown. The government has yet to comment on the Milan directive, and the issue remains a contentious one. LGBTQ rights activists are calling for greater protections for same-sex couples and their families, and they are urging the Italian government to take a more inclusive and tolerant stance.