Milan opens register for civil partnerships

At the end of a marathon, over 11 hours-long session, Milan city council has voted to open a register for civil partnerships – unions of same-sex or heterosexual couples.
“From today there are more human rights in Milan,” tweeted mayor Giuliano Pisapia.  But he added a word of caution: “It’s a step forward, but it’s no short-cut to gay marriages.”
From Monday 10 September, couples can make an appointment for enrolment in the Registro delle Unioni Civili, and from Tuesday 18 September they can then present their documentation at the new office in room 231 of the Registry Office in Via Larga and be registered.  The registry is open to two persons of legal age, of the same gender or of different genders, of any nationality, who are resident and cohabiting in the Comune of Milan and are registered in the same family unit.  They must not be married or linked by parentage or affinity, adoption or legal care.
The text of the municipal deliberation went through several modifications and three debates before passing the vote with 27 for, 7 against and 4 abstentions.  The proposed term “registered family” was abandoned in favour of “civil union” to underline the difference between civil partnerships and traditional families.  And the definition was honed down to the term “two persons bound by affective ties”, to exclude any possibility of polygamy.  The objective, defined in the document approved by the city council, is “to overcome discriminatory situations and to favour the integration of civil partnerships into the social, cultural and economic context of our territory.”
“I’m confident this will stimulate parliament to table a law for the recognition of civil partnerships,” said Pisapia after the vote.  “For our part, we’ve done as much as we possibly could.  From tomorrow, women and men who love each other will be happier, and that will make me happy, too.”