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Home English Senate suspends civil unions debate over 'kangaroo'
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Senate suspends civil unions debate over 'kangaroo'

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© ANSA

Rome, February 16 - The Senate on Tuesday voted to
suspend debate on a civil unions bill after the
anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) said it would vote
against a Democratic Party (PD) 'kangaroo' amendment that would
quash all other similar amendments.
The motion passed with 155 in favor, 141 against and three
abstaining.
The M5S earlier asked for an open vote on 500 amendments to
the bill, which includes a contested clause granting stepchild
adoption rights to partners in civil unions. The 'kangaroo' may
not have enough support to pass without M5S backing.
The rightwing opposition Northern League earlier pulled
4,500 of its amendments to the bill extending rights to gay
couples, and challenged the ruling PD to now pull its so-called
'kangaroo' amendment.
The PD declined.
"(The kangaroo) has a healthy goal," PD Senate Whip Luigi
Zanda said. He recalled the long delays to the bill, which
started going through parliament almost three years ago, and
said to applause that "we are going to give rights to a
minority".
The bill contains a contested clause allowing same-sex
couples to adopt each other's children, which Catholics inside
and outside Premier Matteo Renzi's centre-left PD are opposed
to.
The rapporteur of the bill said earlier a vote for the bill
is a vote against discrimination.
"I hope... my fellow lawmakers... know that today they
choose which side of History they want to be on," Senator Monica
Cirinnà (PD) wrote on Facebook.
"Whether to stand with the new families that ask only to be
included in the great world of Italian families, or on the side
of those who continue discriminating and thinking that rights
are the privilege of a few".
The bill would extend to committed gay couples some of the
same rights and protections currently enjoyed by heterosexual
married couples. It seeks to fill a legislative vacuum, as Italy
is the only western European country not to have either
legalised gay marriage or recognised civil unions between
same-sex couples.

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