Pinerolo: Two former Catholic nuns registered a same-sex civil union in northwest Italy on Wednesday after they fell in love and renounced their vows, media reports said.
“God wants people to be happy and to live their love openly,” Turin-based daily La Stampa quoted one of the ex-nuns named Isabel as saying.
“We call on our Church to welcome all people who love each other,” said the other nun, named Francesca, quoted by La Stampa.
The civil union ceremony took place in Pinerolo on the outskirts of Turin and was conducted by the town’s mayor, Luca Salvai, a member of Italy’s grassroots Five Star movement.
La Stampa described the couple as two 44-year-old former Franciscan Sisters, who met on a pilgrimage. Isabel is from Latin America, and Federica is from Italy, according to the daily.
A priest who was suspended from priesthood in 2003 because of his support for gay marriage, Franco Barbero, was also going to bless the couple and has already done this for 19 gay couples this year, it reported.
Gay activists on Tuesday lodged a complaint with prosecutors and police against a Catholic mayor in Favria on the outskirts of Turin who refused to officiate a civil union between two men.
Serafino Ferrino, refused to conduct the civil union, claiming they were morally “wrong” and that many Italian mayors agreed with him.
The Gay Centre rights group said it was taking action against all town and city councils who don’t apply the legislation which legalised same-sex partnerships in Italy earlier this year.
Italy’s parliament voted civil unions – including same-sex partnerships – into law in May after the government won a confidence motion on the fiercely debated bill.
Italy was the last in Western Europe to adopt such reforms and the legislation was heavily diluted due to staunch opposition from the Catholic Church, Catholic groups and conservative Catholic politicians as well as divisions within the ruling centre-left Democratic Party.