When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Italian Couple Works Legal Loophole To Form Same-Sex Family

Socially conservative Italy isn't likely to embrace gay marriage anytime soon. That hasn't stopped one same-sex couple from trying. While Savona's Francesco and Manuel haven't yet managed to tie the knot, they did come

An Italian gay couple in the Colosseum in Rome
An Italian gay couple in the Colosseum in Rome
Ermanno Branca

SAVONA – It's not exactly a full-fledged marriage, but the official recognition by one Italian coastal town that two men constitute a "family unit" is being seen by some as an important step in the battle for legal recognition of same-sex couples in Italy.

Last year, Francesco Zanardi and Manuel Incorvaia tried to get the mayor of Savona, a seaport on Italy's northwestern coast, to marry them. That effort failed. But they did get the town's registry office to recognize them as a "family unit."

The town hall plays down the recognition, saying officials have merely applied a 1989 local decree that allows people living under the same roof to be given a family status, even when not married, provided they declare a mutual bond of affection.

It's a bit of bureaucratic miracle, but it was accomplished quite easily. All Zanardi and Incorvaia had to do was go to the town's registry office and fill out a form in which they stated their bond of affection and their desire to form a family. The couple was accompanied by some center-left local politicians who have backed their cause.

"It's a further step forward for the rights of gay couples," the two men declare.

Inspired by their new status, the couple has renewed their marriage request. The original petition was denied on grounds that Italy does not envisage same-sex marriages. It's likely their second request will suffer the same fate.

Italy, a Roman Catholic nation that hosts the Vatican, does not recognize same-sex marriages and current center-right Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said his government has no plans to do so. An effort by the previous center-left government to introduce rights for de-facto couples, including gay ones, drew opposition and was never turned into law.

Italy does have detailed – and constantly evolving – statutes regulating cohabitation. National law allows people who share the same residency to constitute separate family units for fiscal reasons. But it also allows people to form a single family in cases involving a degree of kinship, adoption, guardianship or when the individuals involved state their bond of affection.

As Zanardi and Incorvaia demonstrated, this "affection clause" can operate as a legal loophole for same-sex couples seeking some type of legal acknowledgement. But it can also be a fragile bond. As easily as a family unit is formed, it can also be dissolved. All that's needed is another visit to the registry office to state the mutual affection is no longer there.

Photo - justinfeed

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


The West Has An Answer To China's New Silk Road — With A Lift From The Gulf

The U.S. and Europe are seeking to rival China by launching a huge joint project. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States will also play a key role – because the battle for world domination is not being fought on China’s doorstep, but in the Middle East.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Prime Minister Narendra and U.S. President Joe Biden shaking hands during PGII & India-Middle East-Europe Economics Corridor event at the G20 Summit on Sept. 9 in New Delhi

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Prime Minister Narendra and U.S. President Joe Biden during PGII & India-Middle East-Europe Economics Corridor event at the G20 Summit on Sept. 9 in New Delhi

Daniel-Dylan Böhmer


BERLIN — When world leaders are so keen to emphasize the importance of a project, we may well be skeptical. “This is a big deal, a really big deal,” declared U.S. President Joe Biden earlier this month.

The "big deal" he's talking about is a new trade and infrastructure corridor planned to be built between India, the Middle East and Europe.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the project as a “beacon of cooperation, innovation and shared progress,” while President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen called it a “green and digital bridge across continents and civilizations."

The corridor will consist of improved railway networks, shipping ports and submarine cables. It is not only India, the U.S. and Europe that are investing in it – they are also working together on the project with Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia is planning to provide $20 billion in funding for the corridor, but aside from that, the sums involved are as yet unclear. The details will be hashed out over the next two months. But if the West and its allies truly want to compete with China's so-called New Silk Road, they will need a lot of money.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest