Italian Catholics Support Civil Unions.

The Irish referendum has encouraged Italian politicians to move ahead with plans for civil unions and there is a strong majority in support. However, only a narrow majority support full marriage, and a large majority oppose gay adoption. In Italy, Catholic Church influence has stalled civil unions progress up to now, but a new survey for La Stampa shows that even among Mass going Catholics, a two-thirds majority (67%) support civil unions.

Support for:

Civil unions: Yes 67%;    No 27%;   no opinion 6%

Gay marriage: Yes 51%; No 37%; no opinion 6%

Gay adoption: Yes 24%; No 73%; no opinion 3%

Some extracts from the La Stampa report, freely translated:

Civil unions “yes”, same – sex marriage “maybe”, gay adoptions “no.”

What would happen if the Italians, like the Irish, were called to vote in a referendum on gay unions? The picture that emerges from a Piepoli survey for La Stampa suggests a moderate reform in our society: two Italians out of three (67%) believe we should just amend existing legislation – our country, without a law on the subject, is now isolated in Europe – but only one in two (51%) would like to follow countries like Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Great Britain, Luxembourg and Finland, where same sex marriages are legal.

Italians prefer to follow the German-Austrian model, which prohibits marriages but allows civil unions (although Berlin now wants to step forward).

Age and sex

In general, looking at the responses of the Italian by gender, we see that women are more open than men on the issue. The same goes for the young: the proportion favorable to gay marriage and adoptions falls with increasing age.


Another decisive variable, is religious orientation. Needless to say, practicing Catholics are against adoption (only 17% in favor) and marriage (56% say no), but the majority of those who pray and go to Mass regularly (57%) would accept civil unions .

3 thoughts on “Italian Catholics Support Civil Unions.”

  1. Better not tell Cardinal Raymond Burke who went apeshit about Irish voters daring to support LGBT marriage. On Wednesday he told the Newman Society, Oxford University’s Catholic Society, that he struggled to understand “any nation redefining marriage”.
    Visibly moved, he went on: “I mean, this is a defiance of God. It’s just incredible. Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviours, they never dared to say this was marriage.”
    So Very Wrong
    He could start by reading the Roman historian Suetonius, who tells us that the Emperor Nero married a lad called Sporus in AD65, ‘with all the usual formalities of a marriage settlement, the rose-coloured nuptual veil, and a numerous company at the wedding. When the ceremony was over, he had him conducted like a bride to his own house, and treated him as his wife.’ Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, Nero, XXVIII
    There’s much more evidence of pagan gay marriage at Catholic World Report on a page headlined ‘Gay Marriage—Nothing New Under the Sun – Gay marriage and homosexuality were part of the moral landscape faced by the first Christians in Ancient Rome.’
    Back to school you Burke.

    1. Thanks for the CWR link, Chris.

      More astonishing to me than the ignorance of Burke and his ilk about the history of marriage, is their ignorance about the Bible. Most people have a very hazy understanding of history, and especially of specialist topics in it. There is no reason why prelates should know more history than others. But they really should show some knowledge of the Bible, and “God’s law”.

      There is absolutely no Biblical “definition” of marriage to support the often repeated claim that the Bible defines marriage as between one man and one woman. For the Jews, there were several forms of marriage (notably including polygamy and Levirate marriage). Claims that the modern understanding of marriage as that used by the Christian churches is “God’s law” essentially go back to the story of Genesis. But there is nothing whatever in the text to suggest that Adam and Eve “married” in any conventional sense.

      All their claims about God’s law, are no more than their interpretations of what is implied in the texts. Other interpretations are also possible, and are frequently made.

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