Italy won’t be the next European country to pass marriage equality if Prime Minister Mario Monti has his way.
In a television interview Wednesday night, the Vatican-backed leader came out against both same-sex marriage and adoption by gay parents: “My thought is that the family should be made up of one man and one woman,” he declared, “and I consider it necessary that children should grow up with a mother and a father. Parliament can find other solutions for other kinds of unions and cohabitations.”
But, as Reuters reports, Monti’s position isn’t exactly in line with some of his political allies on the left:
A key member of the centre-left group is the Left Ecology Freedom party led by Nichi Vendola, Italy’s most prominent homosexual politician and founder of the country’s first gay rights organisation.
Vendola, previously criticised by Monti as conservative for opposing the liberalisation of hire-and-fire laws, responded ironically to Monti’s comments on Twitter: “According to Monti, the only family is one composed of a man and a woman. Who’s the conservative now?”
While same-sex marriage doesn’t enjoy the same support in Italy it does elsewhere, there has been some good news out of Rome lately. Last week, Italy’s supreme court ruled that a child could not be removed from his mother and her female partner simply on the grounds that the boy wouldn’t have a “balanced” upbringing.
And earlier this month, Monti said issues regarding LGBT rights should be decided by parliament, not his administration. This is really the first time Monti, who was appointed to his position 14 months ago, has addressed equal marriage. As Italy has angled from it’s own fiscal cliff, his message has generally been about economic issues.
Reuters indicates support for Monti’s party has fallen to 14.8% in a January 14 survey, from 15.1% a week prior.