Italy, known for its cultural emphasis on family, is witnessing a concerning shift in its political landscape. Under the leadership of Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s first female prime minister who champions conservative values, the concept of family is being redefined with a focus on traditional, patriarchal ideals. Meloni’s vocal opposition to same-sex marriage and her assertion that “a child needs a mum and a dad” is causing distress among LGBTQ+ communities.
Despite initial hopes that Meloni’s government would protect the hard-earned rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, the reality has been quite different. Last January, Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Piantedosi, issued a recommendation to remove non-biological parents from birth certificates, effectively erasing the legal recognition of LGBTQ+ parents. This action has sent a damaging message that LGBTQ+ individuals are not worthy of parenthood.
Italy still lags behind its European counterparts in LGBTQ+ rights, with progressive parties often avoiding confrontations with conservative voters and the Catholic church. While civil partnerships were legalized for same-sex couples in 2016, critical rights such as marriage and stepchild adoption remained restricted. Attempts to pass bills criminalizing hate offenses against LGBTQ+ people have also failed.
With a hard-right government in power, attacks on LGBTQ+ rights have intensified. Proposed legislation aims to criminalize those who seek surrogacy abroad, further complicating the lives of LGBTQ+ families. Giorgia Meloni’s goal to uphold traditional family values through a crackdown on “different” families disregards the emotional and practical consequences of her actions. The future of LGBTQ+ parental rights in Italy hangs in the balance, as citizens hope for change in the face of adversity.