Hundreds of people took to the streets of Milan on Saturday to protest against moves by Italy’s new right-wing government to restrict the rights of same-sex parents.
The protest, titled “Hands Off Our Sons and Daughters,” took place in the historic pedestrian square of Piazza della Scala and was organized by LGBTQ+ groups across the country.
“You explain to my son that I am not his mother,” read one protest sign. Others waved ballpoint pens, used to sign birth certificates, in protest.
Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala, who had previously tweeted his support for gay families, was also present at the protests.
Organizers estimated around 10,000 people attended while Milan city officials gave more modest estimates of hundreds.
In 2016, Italy became the latest country in Europe to legalize same-sex unions, but it still does not recognize “stepchild adoption” or surrogacy, which rights groups say. rights, is due to the opposition of the Catholic Church.
His government, led by far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, places a strong emphasis on traditional family values.
Same-sex parents wishing to register their children born via surrogacy abroad often have to enter only one parental name on official birth certificates or take their case to family court.
Several cities, including the capital Rome and Milan, had instituted a Parent 1/Parent 2 policy on birth registrations rather than the traditional mother/father designations, but last week the Interior Ministry ordered the city to Milan to stop this practice.
Italy’s interior ministry said it would order birth registries in other cities to end the practice as well.
Last week, the Italian senate voted against a measure introduced by the European Commission to make recognition of same-sex parents mandatory.