According to reports, the decision was made after Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for a confidence vote to change the bill, originally presented in 2014, into a law, after years of heavy debate on the issue.
Reports added that Italy is the last major Western city to jump onto the bandwagon, as previous attempts to legalise gay unions were thwarted by the extremely powerful Roman Catholic Church.
The bill was reportedly passed due to a majority vote in the Chamber of Deputies, with 369 votes in favour to 193 against.
Further, the final law reportedly allows for – after multiple revisions, gay couples to share a surname and inherit each other’s assets after death, which was earlier only permitted for heterosexual couples.
In addition, the law also permits unmarried heterosexual partners to be treated as each other’s “next of kin,” in case of illness or death.
Reports state that the original bill allowed for homosexual couples to adopt children, but this clause was heavily contested by conservatives and orthodox Christians as they believed it was a step towards the legalisation of the currently illegal surrogate motherhood.
The legislation has reportedly invoked celebrations from gay rights activists across the country.
President of gay rights group Arcigay Gabriele Piazzoni reportedly echoed similar sentiments and said that “there is still a long way to go for full equality but this is an excellent starting point.”
Reports added that Rome’s historic landmarks, including the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain, lit up in rainbow colours in celebration of the historic legislation. READ MORE