Italy lags behind neighbors on partnership rights

05/28/2013 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

Same-sex couples in Italy have yet to win substantial legal rights and benefits, unlike their counterparts in many countries throughout the rest of Europe. Some point to the influence of the Vatican, but Ireland, which is also heavily Catholic, has bucked the church by offering civil unions to gay and lesbian couples. "For the most part, our politicians haven't had the courage to fight this issue," said one activist in Italy.

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