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TAR lets gay marriage annulments stand

'Prefect's act null and void' says mayor's office

(ANSA) - Rome, November 4 - The Lazio Regional Administrative Court (TAR) on Tuesday denied a plea by several gay couples asking it to suspend the Rome city prefect's annulment of the transcriptions of their marriages, which had been contracted abroad, in city hall. Their petition was filed as a precaution, before they appealed the 16 annulments.
    The appeal was filed based on the fact that "the prefect's act was...marred by incompetence and excess of power...as well as blatantly null, illegitimate, and erroneous," the mayor's office said.
    Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino said last Friday that he would not obey the city prefect's order to scrub the recent transcription of foreign gay marriages.
    "We do not accept the prefect's order to cancel the transcriptions that have already been logged," he said of his purely symbolic move.
    Marino in his defiance of the interior minister joins a number of mayors across Italy, including those of Milan, Bologna, Udine and Grosseto.
    He walked into contested, administrative no-man's land earlier this month when he transcribed 16 same-sex marriages legally performed abroad at the Rome prefecture.
    In Italy, civil unions between same-sex partners are not yet nationally recognized, much less marriage, which is defined as a union between a man and a woman. However the recognition of same-sex marriages performed abroad, especially in countries with which Italy is bound by treaties, the question is subject to debate.
    Marino has received support from gay activists and lawyers of couples whose marriages were transcribed, but the Catholic political movement Italia Cristiana has registered a formal complaint against Marino for contravening State law. The movement also called for the centre-left politician to be removed from his post.
   

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