LGBT rights in Italy
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2009)|
|LGBT rights in Italy|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 1887|
|Gender identity/expression||Transsexual persons allowed to change legal gender|
|Military service||Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly|
|Discrimination protections||Sexual orientation protections in employment (see below)|
|No recognition of same-sex couples|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Italy may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Italy, but same-sex couples and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.
Legal status 
History since unification 
Italian unification in 1860 brought together a number of States which had all (with the exception of two) abolished punishment for private, non-commercial and homosexual acts between consenting adults as a result of the Napoleonic Code.
One of the two exceptions had been the Kingdom of Sardinia which punished homosexual acts between men (although not women) under articles 420–425 of the penal code promulgated in 1859 by Victor Emmanuel II.
With the unification, the former Kingdom of Sardinia extended its own criminalizing legislation to the rest of the newly born Kingdom of Italy. However, this legislation did not apply to the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, taking into account the "particular characteristics of those that lived in the south".
This bizarre situation, where homosexuality was illegal in one part of the kingdom, but legal in another, was only reconciled in 1887, with the promulgation of the Zanardelli Code which abolished all differences in treatment between homo and heterosexual relations across the entire territory of Italy.
Since the introduction of the first Penal Code in 1889, effective in 1890, there have been no laws against private, adult and consensual homosexual relations.
This situation remained in place despite the fascist promulgation of 19 October 1930 of the Rocco Code. This wanted to avoid discussion of the issue completely, in order to avoid creating public scandal. Repression was a matter for the Catholic Church, and not the Italian State. In any case, it claimed, that most Italians were not interested in an issue only practised by less "healthy" and less "virile" foreigners.
This did not, however, prevent the fascist authorities from targeting male homosexual behaviour with administrative punishment, such as public admonition and confinement; and gays were persecuted in the later years of the regime of Benito Mussolini and under the Italian Social Republic of 1943–45.
The arrangements of the Rocco Code have remained in place over subsequent decades. Namely the principle that homosexual conduct is an issue of morality and religion, and not criminal sanctions by the State. However during the post-war period there have been at least three attempts to re-criminalise it – each attempt blocked by the Christian Democracy. And such attitudes have made it difficult to bring discussion of measures, for example to recognise homosexual relationships, to the parliamentary sphere.
The current age of consent is 14 years.
Military laws 
Homosexuals are not banned from military service. The Armed Forces of Italy cannot deny men or women of homosexual orientation to serve within their ranks, as this would be a violation of Constitutional rights. However, much prejudice about homosexuals still exists within the Italian armed forces, so that they generally decide to hide their sexual orientation. In the past, homosexual conduct was grounds for being discharged from the Italian armed forces for reason of insanity, and feigning homosexuality was a very popular way to obtain medical rejection and skip draft.
Laws against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation 
In 2004, Tuscany became the first Italian region to ban discrimination against homosexuals in the areas of employment, education, public services, and accommodations. The Berlusconi government challenged the new law in court, asserting that only the central government had the right to pass such a law. The Constitutional Court overturned the provisions regarding accommodations (with respect to private homes and religious institutions), but otherwise upheld most of the legislation. Since then, the region of Piedmont has enacted a similar measure.
Furthermore, since 2003, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment is illegal throughout the whole country, in conformity with EU directives.
In 2006, Grillini again introduced a proposal to expand anti-discrimination laws, this time adding gender identity as well as sexual orientation. It received less support than the previous one had.
In 2008, Danilo Giuffrida was awarded 100,000 euros compensation after having been ordered to re-take his driving test by the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport due to his sexuality; the judge said that the Ministry of Transport was in clear breach of anti-discrimination laws.
In 2009, the Italian Chamber of Deputies shelved a proposal against homophobic hate-crimes, that would have allowed increased sentences for violence against homosexuals, approving the preliminary questions moved by Union of the Centre and supported by Lega Nord and The People of Freedom (although 9 deputies, politically near to the President of the Chamber Gianfranco Fini, have voted against). The deputy Paola Binetti, who belongs to Democratic Party, has voted against the party guidelines.
On May 16, 2013, a bill which will prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was presented in a press conference by four deputies of four different parties.The bill is cosponsored by 221 MPs but none of the center-right side has pledged his support yet.
Recognition of same-sex relationships 
Same-sex couples living in Italy have no shared rights to property, social security and inheritance. Since the 2005 regional elections, many Italian regions governed by centre-left coalitions have passed resolutions in support of French style PACS (civil union), including Tuscany, Umbria, Emilia-Romagna, Campania, Marche, Apulia, Lazio, Liguria, and Abruzzo. Lombardy, led by the centre-right House of Freedoms, officially declared their opposition to any recognition of same-sex relationships. All these actions, however, are merely symbolic as regions do not have legislative power on the matter.
Despite the fact that several bills on civil unions or the recognition of rights to unregistered couples have been introduced into the Parliament in the past twenty years, none has been approved owing to the strong opposition from the social conservative members of parliament belonging to both coalitions. Last, on 8 February 2007 the government led by Romano Prodi introduced a bill which would have granted rights in areas of labour law, inheritance, taxation and health care to same-sex and opposite-sex unregistered partnerships. The bill was never made a priority of the legislature and was eventually dropped when a new Parliament was elected after the Prodi government lost a confidence vote.
In 2010, the Constitutional Court (Corte Costituzionale) issued a landmark ruling where recognized same sex couples as a "legitimate social formation, similar to and deserving homogeneous treatment as marriage". Since that ruling, the Corte di Cassazione (the last revision court for some issues such as commercial issues or immigration issues) remanded a decision by a Justice of the Peace who had rejected a residence permit to an algerian citizen, married in Spain to a spaniard of the same sex. After that, this same judiciary stated that the questura (police office, where residence permits are issued) should deliver a residence permit to a foreigner married with an italian citizen of his same sex, and cited the ruling 138.
LGBT rights groups and public campaigns 
- The major national organization for LGBT rights is Arcigay. It was founded in 1985 and is currently working on gaining some form of legal recognition for same-sex couples.
- Some openly gay and bisexual Italian politicians include, Franco Grillini (former member of the Chamber of Deputies for the Democratic Left); Marco Pannella (Member of the European Parliament and leader of the Italian Radical party); Daniele Capezzone (Spokesman for the People of Freedom party); Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio (former Minister of Environment and first openly bisexual minister); Nichi Vendola (Chamber of Deputies, and President of the Puglia region); Rosario Crocetta (President of Sicily and Paola Concia Democratic Party (Italy)).
- In 2007, an ad showing a baby wearing a wristband label that said "homosexual" caused controversy. The ads were part of a regional government campaign to combat anti-gay discrimination.
Cross dressing is not illegal in Italy, and sex change operations are also legal, with medical approval. However, gender identity is not a part of official anti-discrimination law.
In 2006 a police officer was reportedly fired for cross-dressing in public while off duty.
The first transgender MP was Vladimir Luxuria, who was elected in 2006 as a representative of the Communist Refoundation Party. While she was not reelected, she went onto be the winner of a popular reality television show called L'Isola dei Famosi.
Public opinion 
According to data from the 2010 Italy Eurispes report released Jan. 29, the percentage of Italians who have a positive attitude towards homosexuality and are in favor of legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples is still growing. In particular, we point out that 82% of the Italian states consider homosexuals equal to all others. 41% of citizens think that homosexual couples have the right to marry in a civil ceremony, and 20.4% agree with civil unions. In total, therefore, 61.4% are in favor of a form of legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples. This is an increase of 2.5% from last year (58.9%) and almost 10% in 7 years (51.6% in 2003). "This is further proof that the Italians are ahead of their national institutions. Our parliament hear more people and what they hear as soon approve a law that guarantees gay people the opportunity to publicly recognize their families, as is done in 20 European countries "- said the national president Aurelio Mancuso Arcigay.
|Italians support for gay rights||2009||2010||2012|
|recognition for same-sex couples||58.9%||61.4%||59.8%|
|civil unions but not marriage||18.5%||20,1%||25.9%|
Summary table 
|Same-sex sexual activity legal||(Since 1887)|
|Equal age of consent||(Since 1887)|
|Anti-discrimination laws in employment||(Since 2003)|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services|
|Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech)|
|Recognition of same-sex couples|
|Both joint and step adoption by same-sex couples|
|Gays allowed to serve in the military|
|Right to change legal gender||(Since 1982)|
|Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples|
|Access to IVF for lesbians|
|MSMs allowed to donate blood|||
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: LGBT in Italy|
- (Italian) L’omosessualità in Italia
- Pedote, Paolo; Nicoletta Poidimani (2007). We will survive!: lesbiche, gay e trans in Italia. Mimesis Edizioni. p. 181.
- Borrillo, Daniel (2009). Omofobia. Storia e critica di un pregiudizio. Edizioni Dedalo. p. 155.
- Text of Legislation (in Italian)
- Text of Decision (in Italian)
- Text of Legislation (in Italian)
- "Italian wins gay driving ban case". BBC News. 13 July 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
- "Camera affossa testo di legge su omofobia" (in Italian). Reuters. 13 October 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- "Omofobia, testo bocciato alla Camera E nel Pd esplode il caso Binetti" (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 13 October 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- "Omofobia, la Camera affossa il testo Caos nel Pd: riesplode il caso Binetti" (in Italian). La Stampa. 13 October 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- "Omofobia, un terzo dei parlamentari firma la nuova proposta di legge" (in Italian). Il Messaggero. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Italy may recognise unwed couples". BBC News. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
- "Gay newborn poster sparks row in Italy". Reuters. 25 October 2007.
- "Cross-dressing Italian cop given the boot". UPI. 29 December 2006.
- "Luxuria: "Ora la sinistra mi critica ma vado avanti"" (in Italian). il Giornale. 25 November 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- "La regolamentazione delle coppie di fatto" (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 15 May 2009.