The Civil Union Act, known also as the Cirinna Law passed in the Italian Parliament almost 4 years ago and since then it is possible for same-sex couples to legalise their relationship in a civil union in Italy. The law in effect from 5 June 2016 makes the same-sex marriage in the form of a civil union accessible not only to Italian citizens but also to mixed couples (Italian and non-Italian) and to foreigners who do not reside in Italy.
The legal situation of gay people in the country of origin and the same-sex marriage in Italy.
What is important, you can still form a civil union with your partner in Italy, even if your country of origin does not recognise same-sex marriages or partnerships. The Italian law takes into consideration also these cases. The bill talks about special procedures when it comes to required documents and the situation of foreigners from countries where homosexuality is still illegal.
The documents required.
Regarding the documents, the requirements for the civil union are identical or similar to the ones required for civil marriage. The most important and most common document is the certificate of no impediment to the marriage. In Italy it is often referred to as “nulla osta”. If you are a citizen of a country that does not recognise a same-sex marriage, you will be asked to request a certificate of your marital status that confirms that you are single.
For example, even in the European Union there are still countries that does not officially recognise same-sex partnerships or marriages. I have organised a civil union for a same-sex couple originating from Poland. They both requested and obtained the certificate of marital status. After translating it in Italy the document was accepted by the Italian registry office.
When it comes to the ceremony itself, there are some changes in the wording of the Act of the Civil Union. Apart from that the structure of the ceremony is the same. It is performed by the state official, at the town hall or at the place chosen by the couple (from the places officially recognised by the town hall), with the required presence of two witnesses, the consent part and the signing of the Act.
The recognition of the same-sex marriage in the country of origin.
The Civil Union is automatically recognised by the state of Italy, with all the rights and duties stated in the Civil Union Act. If you want to register the civil union in a country abroad you must bear in mind that for each state the situation will vary. The law applied will be the law of that country. If, for example, you are a British citizen who after getting married to their partner in Italy wants to register the union in the UK, then you can and you have to register as a civil partnership. If, however, you are a citizen of Lithuania or a US citizen residing in Kentucky, your same-sex marriage in Italy will not be recognised in your country.
So far I have assisted same-sex couples, Italian and non-Italian citizens, coming from China, the UK and the United States. Sometimes it was hard to get through the legal procedures of the country of origin. But we have made it and since I was also present at some of the unions (http://www.weddingsardinia.com/testimonials-1/gay-wedding-cagliari/. I can assure you that these weddings were not only a celebration of love, a beautiful event shared with the loved ones, but also the victory of human rights.
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