The Italian Almanac

Nichi Vendola

Ready to Marry

Puglia Governor Nichi Vendola wants to marry his gay partner in ceremony in Italy. "I'm still in love with my companion and I'm thinking of crowning my love for him in a ceremony in front of my community and family," he told Italian radio. "I'm in love with him and I'd like to have the right to a ceremony". In the past he has said he wants to adopt a child.

Same-sex marriage and adoption are both illegal in Italy. Vendola, who has lived with his Canadian partner for years, is a potent gay-rights leader in Italy and leads the leftist SEL party. He is the chief ally of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which leads in polls ahead of elections next month.

None of the main contenders in the elections has come out in favour of gay marriage or gay adoption rights, although PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani is in favour of bringing in Germany-style civil unions.

Outgoing Premier Mario Monti, who is leading a centrist coalition in elections, sparked criticism earlier this month when he said "the family should be made up of one man and one woman," and "children should grow up with a mother and a father".