Amid controversy over a northern city’s decision to allow cohabiting couples to register as fami-lies, Family Policy Minister Rosy Bindi on Thursday urged the government to press ahead with a law guaranteeing rights for unwed couples. ‘I believe it’s time for state legislation which would tackle all aspects of this issue in a comprehensive way,’ the centrist minister said. ‘It’s in the in-terests of the government to deal with this once and for all, otherwise, we risk a storm in a tea-cup after every single (local) initiative,’ Bindi added. The minister was referring to Padua, whose centre-left council approved a motion allowing unwed couples, including same-sex couples, to register with the city as ‘families based on ties of affection’ and receive certificates attesting to their family status. Such documents are required in Italy for certain administrative and legal pro-cedures, such as joining public housing waiting lists or obtaining rights to assist sick family members. The motion, presented by an openly gay, leftist councillor, was approved by 26 votes to seven.