Rome

Recognise gay unions says House Speaker

'Europe is demanding it,' says Boldrini

Recognise gay unions says House Speaker

(see previous). Rome, May 17 - Gay unions should get legal recognition and full civil rights in Italy, House Speaker said on the International Day Against Homophobia Friday. "Homosexuals must see their unions recognised by the law of the land in Italy too," Boldrini said at a ceremony. She said the move, long advocated by gay groups but blocked by Catholic and conservative lawmakers, is needed, she said, "because Europe is asking us for it". Boldrini, a centre-left former United Nations refugee chief, stressed that gay unions had legal status in 19 European countries including Catholic Spain. The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) was set up in 2004 to mark the day in 1990 when homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO).

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