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03rd Aug 2023

Representative groups protest in Dublin in support of lesbian mums in Italy

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Equality for Children and the Lesbian Lawyers Network marched in Dublin to protest the rights which have been removed from lesbian mothers in Italy.

Joining others in various European cities following a call out by the NGO EL*C (EuroCentral Asian Lesbian* Community), the group marched on the Italian Embassy to stand by Italian mothers on Wednesday.

Italy’s right-wing government ordered state agencies to put a stop to the registration of children born to same-sex couples in March of this year.

In June, a state prosecutor in northern Italy then ordered the cancellation and re-issuance of 33 birth certificates of children born to lesbian mothers.

Mums who did not carry their own children are now receiving letters that are informing them that they are being retroactively removed from their children’s birth certificates and new birth certificates are being issued which now will only name one mum as the child’s mother.

In Italian law, a person in a same-sex couple who is not legally recognised as the child’s parent may lose custody if the legal parent dies or the relationship breaks up.

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni has shared a lot of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric during her campaign for office, opposing marriage equality and is against same-sex couples adopting.

Maeve Delargy from the Lesbian Lawyers Network said: “This is what can happen when there are legislative vacuums. We can’t rely on the good will of individuals or organisations acting unilaterally.

“Politicians need to come together to enact laws to fix situations where children only have a legally recognised relationship with one of their parents. Otherwise children can be discriminated against and their legal families can change based on the government that is in power. If I was living in Italy right now I would be living in fear.”

Ranae von Meding on behalf of Equality for Children (EFC) added: “We at EFC have been campaigning for equal rights for children of LGBTQ+ parents in Ireland since 2019. In 2020 we made progress with some same sex female couples, being able to have both of their names on their children’s birth certificates.

“I cannot imagine how I would feel if my wife’s name was removed from our daughters’ birth certificates. And we are still fighting here to ensure that all children of LGBTQ+ families have legal ties with both their parents. The challenges that those non-biological mothers are facing in Italy now (consent for travel, medical and educational purposes) are the same as those faced by the majority of LGBTQ+ people in Ireland who still do not have a legal tie with their children.”