Puglia Governor Nichi Vendola wants to marry gay partner
'I'd like to have the right to a ceremony'31 January, 14:10
He is the chief ally of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which leads in polls ahead of elections next month.
None of the main contenders in the elections has come out in favour of gay marriage or gay adoption rights, although PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani is in favour of bringing in Germany-style civil unions.
Outgoing Premier Mario Monti, who is leading a centrist coalition in elections, sparked criticism earlier this month when he said "the family should be made up of one man and one woman," and "children should grow up with a mother and a father".