Italy: Naples and Grosseto to become first cities to recognize overseas same-sex marriages

Naples mayor Luigi De Magistris has announced plans to record same-sex marriages that have been performed in countries where they are legal in his city’s civil register.

He announced the plans just weeks after an Italian court ruled that the Tuscan city of Grosseto must register the marriage of a couple who married in New York in 2012 and may be the start of a trend of local governments recognizing same-sex marriages while the Italian Government refuses to. However De Magistris’ announcement was criticized by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples who said the city’s government should have bigger priorities.

Mayor De Magistris’ initiative was praised by the Naples branch of Italian LGBTI rights group Arcigay who told  that registering same-sex couples’ marriages by the city was something that would not cost the tax payer while making a lot of people very happy. ‘Investing in the happiness of the people and in full equality between them has no cost,’ Arcigay Naples spokesperson Antonello Sannino said. ‘The expansion of rights for all and all is a top priority and would be very good for the country – it is no coincidence that the places and the most liveable cities are also those who recognize full civil and social rights and invest on people’s happiness.’