On Wednesday, May 11, the Italian Parliament approved a law recognizing civil unions of same-sex couples, in a vote of 372 to 51, with 99 abstentions. In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who supported the bill, called the occasion a "day of celebration for many, and for those who finally feel recognized." 


Though the bill was approved by the Senate in February, a final vote was required in the lower house before it could be enacted. An early draft of the legislation would have permitted a member of a same-sex civil union to adopt his or her partner's biological child, but in an effort to obtain votes from more conservative lawmakers, this allowance was omitted from the final, approved bill. 


Members and allies of the LGBTQI community have been particularly active in Florence over the past few months as civil unions and other pertinent issues have been under discussion in the Senate. Back in January, numerous local and national organizations formally participated in Italy-wide #SvegliatItalia demonstrations. Celebrations of yesterday's landmark decision will continue at Florence's Villa Strozzi during the Toscana Pride Park festival on June 11 to 19, which will include film screenings, lectures, parties, concerts, book presentations and more events.