Mattarella signs civil-unions law (2)

President promulgates long-awaited legislation

(ANSA) - Rome, May 20 - Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Friday promulgated a civil-unions law, the president's office said. The law, which won final approval on May 11, extends to committed gay couples some of the same rights and protections currently enjoyed by heterosexual married couples, such as the right to receive a deceased partners' pension. It fills a legislative vacuum, as Italy was the only western European country not to have either legalised gay marriage or recognised civil unions between same-sex couples.
    The centre right is gearing for a referendum to abrogate the law despite its having been watered down to remove stepchild adoption.
   

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