Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed some concern to Italian PM Giorgia Meloni on the policies her administration is following on “protecting and defending human rights, including the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ people”. The Canadian government said in a statement after the leaders had bilateral talks on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Japan.
“Meloni responded that her government is following court decisions and is not deviating from previous administrations,” the statement said.
According to reports in Canadian media, Trudeau’s specific concerns are on the positions Italy is adopting on gay rights under her government.
The Italian interior ministry, via Italy’s prefects, has told city councils to stop using a procedure that had been adopted by many to register both members of a same-sex couple as the parents of a child. The letter cited a ruling by Italy’s highest court requiring court approval for legal recognition of parental status.
The mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, said in his daily podcast Buongiorno Milano, that the policy change “is a clear step backwards, politically and socially, and I put myself in the shoes of those parents who thought they could count on this possibility in Milan.”
Children who are denied the right to have both parents recognized on their birth certificate are left in legal limbo. Their families face a range of challenges. In the most extreme scenario, if the legally recognized parent were to pass away, the children could become wards of the state and face the prospect of being orphaned.
Prime Minister Trudeau is not alone in his concerns. In Italy’s LGBT community, the Meloni government’s hostile approach to LGBT rights has led to a growing sense of frustration and anxiety.
“Children end up having limited access to key services and benefits, such as healthcare, inheritance and child support,” said Angelo Schillaci, law professor at Sapienza University in Rome.
“At present, only one parent is recognized by law, the other one is a ghost. In real life, parents and children play together, cook together, play sports and go on holiday together. But on paper, they are apart, the state does not see them. It’s a paradoxical situation.”
The encounter between Meloni and Trudeau reflects a level of concern that exists in the international LGBTQ+ community and the current trend to trim back legal rights gains that they had previously made.