Italy among nine EU states not signing LGBTQ+ rights bill

Italy is among nine European Union states that have not signed an LGBTQ+ rights bill from The European Union (EU). 

The EU countries – including Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – failed to sign the 17 May declaration which promotes European policies supporting LGBTQ+ communities, according to local outlet ANSA it.

The country did not sign the EU text on gay rights because it “mirrored a bill” which was already proposed by Italian centre-left Democratic Party MP and gay activist Alessandro Zan. Their proposed bill increased penalties for anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, according to the outlet. 

“Italy did not sign along with a third of the member states the declaration for the promotion of European policies in favour of the LGBTQ+ community because it was actually unbalanced on gender identity, hence basically the content of the Zan bill,” a source of the family ministry told the publication, adding that the government had not signed since it is “against the Zan bill”.

However, Italy did join the declaration against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia of the EU External Action Service on 7 May, “because it was related to non-discrimination with respect to sexual orientation”.

The declaration was presented by the Belgian presidency to the EU member states and was prepared on the World Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. In total, the declaration was supported by 18 of the 27 EU member states.

Italy has been at the centre of LGBTQ+ rights issues after it began removing lesbian mums from children’s birth certificates in 2023 as part of the government’s crackdown on LGBTQ+ families. However, this year a court in Italy rejected the anti-LGBTQ+ government attempts to erase the names of non-biological lesbian mothers from their children’s birth certificates.

The Czech Republic recently signed an expanded union for same-sex couples into law but failed to include marriage or full adoption rights for the queer community in the country, while Romania’s Prime Minister said the country is “not ready” to uphold LGBTQ+ rights

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