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Italy reacts to Supreme Court ruling on gay parental custody

'Courts don't know what's best for child' say Catholic bishops

11 January, 19:48
Italy reacts to Supreme Court ruling on gay parental custody (ANSA) - Rome, January 11 - Italy's supreme Court of Cassation ruled on Friday that there is no reason why gay people cannot have custody of children, eliciting reactions from across the political spectrum.

"This is a historic ruling, giving the future government a formidable assist to finally legislate in favor of same-sex marriage and full equality for all families," said Italian gay and lesbian association Arcigay President Flavio Romani. "The Cassation Court today reaffirmed what we've been saying for a long time. Love is what makes children grow, and not the sexual orientation of their parents".

Former Veneto governor and minister Giancarlo Galan, who is from ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, hailed the ruling as "a significant step forward for civil rights in our country. I hope political rhetoric will not take a step back. The duty of a secular state is to listen to its citizens and no one else".

Democratic Party (PD) Senator Ignazio Marino concurred. "We should stop looking at such important matters as civil rights through a 19th-century lens," he said. "I believe people who love one another should have the same rights, no matter their sexual orientation. The ability to raise a child is not the exclusive prerogative of heterosexual couples. This has been scientifically confirmed".

Members of the Catholic Church did not support the ruling. "You can't build a civilization through court rulings," Father Domenico Sigalini, a member of the influential Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), told ANSA. "If most people have the sense to object to adoptions by gay couples, it's because they know intuitively that the child will have difficulties in a family made up of two parents who are both women or both men. It is not up to a court of law to say what the best situation is for a child". "Clearly the magistrates are anticipating the next Bersani government's agenda," commented Northern League MP Massimo Polledri, an avowed Catholic, adding that while there is no scientific evidence that gay parents make good parents, "nature and 200 years of psychoanalysis tell us that the correct upbringing of the individual happens by having different-gendered parents".