DIVA takes you through the decisions which have led to lesbian parents being removed from birth certificates
BY ASH MANGANARO, IMAGE BY MARYNA AURAMCHUK
The Italian September 2022 general election brought about the return of right-wing governing in the country, for the first time since World War Two. This replaces the previous government led by Mario Draghi, following the populist 5-star movement’s coalitions.
Giorgia Meloni, the new Italian prime minister and leader of the Brothers Of Italy party, has taken a complete “right turn” in comparison to Draghi who in July 2021 defended the LGBTQIA community from the Vatican.
Since Meloni’s term began, Rome officially withdrew from supporting Pride celebrations, surrogacy and IVF are now only available to heterosexual couples, and there are discussions around limitations on abortions (bear in mind abortions were legalized in Italy in 1978). I suppose the final nail on the head has been removing the “non-biological” parent’s name from the child’s birth certificate, something many lesbians across the country are now experiencing.
Outwardly this seems like nothing more than letters on a page, but letters on a page mean everything when you are then faced with legal challenges; things like picking your child up from school or taking them to a doctor’s appointment. If the biological parent dies, then the other parent will likely not be granted custody, having no way of proving they are related. In fact, if things proceed this way, then lesbian couples will instead just be remembered as “roommates”.
Meloni’s government has also insisted that other councils, such as Milan, comply with their new laws. Since 2018 Milan has allowed same-sex couples to include both parents’ names on their child’s birth certificate, now they must, like the rest of Italy, only register the “biological” parent.
While adoption has been utilised as a roundabout route of gaining legal protection for their child, Meloni’s new policy directly violates articles 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 16 and 18 of The Convention On The Rights Of The Child, as well as articles 12 and 16 of The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights.
Since World War Two, Italy has progressed in many ways in terms of LGBTQIA rights, with discrimination on the basis of sexuality being prohibited by law. However, it does not mention gender identity. Binary trans people have been able to legally change their gender since 1982, and since 2015, surgery has not been a requirement to do so.
Above all else, Italy is a beautiful country with a language that makes almost everyone swoon. It’s responsible for some of our favourite foods and features outstanding natural beauty from the mountains to lakes. However, it would be heartbreaking if Meloni’s Government saw the decline of LGBTQIA people choosing to visit or live in the country due to the introduction of new laws.
As of present there have been no updates or changes to Meloni’s policies since July and according to 5-Star Movement politician, Fabrizio Marrazzo, in March there were around 20 children awaiting registration in Italy. Also in March, the senate voted against an EU proposal to introduce a law that recognises both same-sex parents as parents. However, in Milan protests have been taking place in the hope of combating these horrendous laws, and I have no doubt that other areas will follow suit.
DIVA magazine celebrates 29 years in print in 2023. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.