Thursday November 14, 2019

Former Catholic Nuns Isabel and Federica fall in love, register same-sex Civil Union in Italy

Serafino Ferrino, refused to conduct the civil union, claiming they were morally "wrong" and that many Italian mayors agreed with him

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Italian Nuns
Two Nuns Waiting Together. Representational image. Pixabay
  • Former Catholic nuns, Isabel and Federica, registered a  same-sex civil union and renounced their vows in North-west Italy on Wednesday, after falling in love
  • The civil union ceremony took place in Pinerolo on the outskirts of Turin and was conducted by the town’s mayor, Luca Salvai
  • 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

Pinerolo, Italy, Sept 28, 2016: 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.

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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.

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A priest who was suspended from the 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.

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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.

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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. (IANS)

  • Anubhuti Gupta

    Love brings people together in the most astonishing ways

  • Antara

    Eventually, love overcomes everything!!

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First Same-Sex Couple Ties Knot in Taiwan

Taiwan’s parliament passed a bill last week that endorsed same-sex marriage

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same-sex marriage
Gay and lesbian newlyweds kiss at a same-sex marriage party after registering their marriages in Taipei, Taiwan, May 24, 2019. VOA

Same-sex couples tied the knot in emotional scenes in Taiwan on Friday, the first legal marriages in Asia hailed by activists as a social revolution for the region. Taiwan’s parliament passed a bill last week that endorsed same-sex marriage.

More than 160 same-sex couples married Friday, according to government data, after years of heated debate over marriage equality that has divided the self-ruled and democratic island.

Twenty couples queued to tie the knot at a marriage registration office in downtown Taipei, where rainbow flags were on display alongside stacks of government-issued, rainbow-themed registration forms.

“I feel very lucky that I can say this out loud to everyone: I am gay and I am getting married,” said Shane Lin, a 31-year-old baker who with his partner were the first couple to register in the Taipei office. “I am extremely proud of my country Taiwan,” said a tearful Lin.

The euphoria and emotion among the island’s gay community was on display as newly-wed couples walked down a rainbow-colored carpet in a nearby park, watched by families and friends as well as diplomats and reporters.

same-sex marriage
Gay newlyweds walk on a giant rainbow flag at a same-sex marriage party after registering their marriage in Taipei, Taiwan, May 24, 2019. VOA

‘The right we deserved’

Chi Chia-wei, an activist who brought a case to Taiwan’s constitutional court that led to a landmark court ruling on same-sex marriage in 2017, congratulated the couples.

“This is the right that we deserved from a long time ago,” he said, draped in a giant rainbow flag that symbolizes the colors of the international gay movement.

“As a beacon in Asia, I hope Taiwan’s democracy and human rights could have a ripple effect on other countries in Asia,” he added.

Supporters also celebrated on social media, sharing posts with the rainbow colors of the gay rights movement.

Friday’s celebration followed a years-long tussle over marriage equality that culminated in the 2017 declaration by the constitutional court giving same-sex couples the right to marry, and setting a deadline of May 24 for legislation.

Marriage equality was backed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), but the measure could complicate President Tsai Ing-wen’s bid for a second term in elections next year.

same-sex marriage
Gay couple Cynical Chick, left, and Li Ying-Chien display the wedding certificate at the Household Registration Office in Shinyi district in Taipei, May 24, 2019. VOA

Conservative groups that oppose same-sex marriage said the legislation disrespected the people’s will.

Same-sex marriage is not recognized by Hong Kong and neighboring China, which regards Taiwan as a wayward province to be returned to the fold by force, if necessary.

It marks another milestone in Taiwan’s development as one of the region’s more liberal societies, in contrast with China’s strongly autocratic government.

ALSO READ: Taiwan’s Parliament Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage, Mass Weddings Planned

Across the strait, many Chinese congratulated Taiwan’s newlywed same-sex couples on platforms such as Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

“For once I thought the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan would impact on the Chinese government, making them heed our appeals,” one Weibo user said. “But then I found the shock actually makes the government more scared, stepping up their crackdown on us.” (VOA)