Milan mayor investigated over gay marriages

Pisapia “should cancel registrations” says prefect

Milan mayor Giuliano Pisapia says he has been placed under investigation for refusing to obey instructions to cancel the registration in the city’s archives of gay marriages celebrated abroad.

It was Pisapia himself who announced the enquiry during a conference of his Democratic Party. According to the media, an inspection by magistrates in the city’s registry office to determine how many gay marriages have been recognised in Milan tipped city hall off to the investigation.

Milan daily Il Giorno reports that a newly-founded association of Catholic pensioners triggered the enquiry by filing an official complaint. This in turn led to interior minister Angelino Alfano issuing an order on 7 October to prefects throughout the country to cancel any homosexual marriages they had registered, otherwise they would be forcibly cancelled.

“I’m not worried,” Pisapia told the media. “I don’t want to get into polemics with the prefect [Francesco Paolo Tronca – ed.] – there must be somebody on high giving instructions.” And he added that Tronca had formally requested him to cancel registrations which “I think it was my duty to record because that’s what the law says.”

Consumer rights association Codacons has already entered the fray. They have formally denounced Tronca for “an act contrary to EU dispositions and to sentences by European tribunals.” Pisapia has written to Premier Matteo Renzi, asking him to rein in Alfano and tell him to cancel the order, which he described as “blasphemous from a legal point of view.”

Other mayors, too, have refused to follow Alfano’s instructions. For the moment, the situation appears to be blocked. The opponents of the cancellation order have appealed to the Lazio TAR (regional administrative tribunal), where a decision is expected to be announced on 27 January.

In the meantime, the city registry office is still accepting applications to register civil partnerships – unions of same-sex or homosexual couples of any nationality.

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