Thousands took to the streets of Rome June 7 for the city’s annual Pride parade, calling on Italian lawmakers to recognize civil unions for gay couples, while in Bucharest, Romania, approximately 400 people made the same appeal during a Pride march, Agence France-Presse reports.
The mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, called for pressure to be put on Italy’s parliament to act on the issue so that the country can “overcome the shame of lagging behind the rest of the European Union.”
In April, a court in the Tuscan city of Grosseto ordered the municipality to recognize the marriage of gay couple Giuseppe Chigiotti and Stefano Bucci, who wed in New York City in 2012, noting that since there is no reference to gender in the register of married couples, the couple should be added to it, The Telegraph reports. While gay rights activists hailed the ruling as historic, the Italian Bishops Conference criticized the decision.
In Romania, the head of gay advocacy group Accept says he hopes the country follows in the footsteps of the West, not Russia, which has enacted widely condemned anti-gay laws.
Romania decriminalized homosexuality in 1996 and equalized the age of consent in 2002. The country’s parliament has also outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation in a number of areas, including housing, employment, education and healthcare.