BRUSSELS. Gay couples, the European Commission censures Italy. For all, in the territory of the EU, there is “the obligation for the Member States to recognize the filiation of a minor with parents of the same sex for the purpose of exercising the rights conferred by the EU”. Any action contrary to this principle and duty is therefore a reason for an offence, remember Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice and who answers a question on the matter on behalf of the whole college. Words that come at a time when the national debate on the LGBTI community and their rights is experiencing a new chapter tensions between majority and opposition. The Senate recently voted against the harmonization of the rules on the cross-border recognition of children, including those of homosexual couples or born through surrogacy, and their rights throughout the EU.
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In particular, Fratelli d’Italia, Lega and Forza Italia do not recognize the same rights as other minors for the children of same-sex couples. Political, cultural, and even ideological choices, which however clash with the European legal framework. Which is also made up of sentences, such as the one produced by the European Court of Justice in December 2021. On that occasion it was established that no restrictions or discrimination of any kind can be made to the children of gay couples. Pronouncement that Italy would not be respecting, for this reason, continues Commissioner Reynders, the Commission “is in continuous dialogue with the Member States regarding the implementation of the sentences of the Court of Justice of the European Union”. This is because the Commission is the guardian of the Treaties. The power of legislative initiative is accompanied by that of enforcing approved laws and their jurisprudential interpretation.
Here too Breton expresses himself very clearly. “Member States must respect the fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter, including the right to non-discrimination, only when implementing EU law.” In essence, Italy may face infringement proceedings and pay fines if convicted.
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There is not only the clash between Rome and Brussels. In the debate on policies for the rainbow community there is also an air of reckoning within the 5 Star Movement. Breton replies to a question filed on 7 December last signed by, among others, Tiziana Beghin, Maria Angela Danzì, Laura Ferrara, Mario Furore, Sabrina Pignedoli, all five-star MEPs who criticize the work of the first Giuseppe Conte government, of which the Movement was part.
Account is requested of the Italian decree law 53 of 14 June 2019, which establishes precise rules on the terms to be used in official documents and application forms. If applied to minors, the text of the question reads, the mandatory use of the formulas ‘father’ and ‘mother’ in the fields reserved for parents rather than more neutral options such as ‘parent’. In this, the complaint “forces same-sex parents who request an official document for a child to suffer humiliation at best or, at worst, a refusal of the request”.
Now the head of the 5 Star delegation in the European Parliament is rejoicing. Reynders’, he says Tiziana Begin, are “clear, unequivocal words, which can only go in the direction indicated by the 5 Star Movement, in respect of civil rights and recognition of the rights of the children of same-parent couples”. However, when he was in government with the League, he had promoted a completely different policy.
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Reynders instead confirms that the EU line has not changed. The EU regulations on family law with transnational implications “are neutral” in terms of gender and the standard forms produced to be shown to the authorities of other countries use terms such as “person” or “party”, and also the Commission’s proposal on the recognition of parentage between Member States uses the term ‘parent’. Something on which the current prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, had expressed harsh criticism. The debate is therefore still completely open and is inflamed further.
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