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ADF to Italy: Rogue mayors have no authority to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

ROME (22.12.2014)– Alliance Defending Freedom has sent the government of Italy a letter and legal memo regarding mayors who are disregarding Italian law and government orders by registering same-sex marriages performed abroad. Italy recognizes neither marriages nor civil unions between members of the same sex.

“Government officials should be held accountable to the laws they are sworn to uphold. Mayors throughout Italy have no authority to disobey explicit government orders and issue illegal marriage licenses,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Roger Kiska. “Italy has always recognized marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Mayors cannot take it upon themselves to disrespect both the law and the people of Italy.”

Mayors cannot take it upon themselves to disrespect both the law and the people of Italy.

In October, Italy’s Minister for the Interior Angelino Alfano issued an order for all prefects to annul registrations of same-sex marriage performed abroad since they have no basis in Italian law. Despite this order, a number of mayors continue to register these unions.

The ADF letter states that the mayors are “seeking to subvert proper judicial processes by acting outside of their given authority” and explains that “there is no international legal obligation requiring the recognition of these unions, nor the creation of ‘civil partnerships’ for same-sex couples. In fact, the European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly ruled precisely the opposite: that there is no right to same-sex marriage under the Convention.”

“Those taking part in these transcriptions have openly stated that this is part of an overall strategy to legalize same-sex ‘marriage’ by forcing the State to ‘[deal] with a growing number of problematic cases,’” the ADF legal memo further explains. “In reality, these cases are far from problematic: same-sex marriage is not legal in Italy and there is no legal requirement, either national or international, that requires the mayors or the central government to register unions created elsewhere.”

“Marriage expresses the reality that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life, especially for children who deserve both a mother and a father,” added ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Robert Clarke. “Italy’s laws recognize this, and they cannot be wantonly ignored by government officials with a personal political agenda.”

Pronunciation guide: Kiska (KISH’-kuh)

ADF International is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

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