Olivia Lopes Pegna

Effects in Italy of Same-sex Marriage Celebrated Abroad: An Issue of Re-characterisation?

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Recent decisions of various Italian judicial bodies intervened - again - on determining if a same- sex marriage celebrated abroad may be registered and given effects in Italy. The article analyses these decisions, showing that Italian jurisprudence is firmly negative with reference to marriages celebrated abroad among Italian nationals. On the contrary, a recent decision of the Naples Court of Appeal, together with some official instructions of the Minister of the Interior, seem to leave at least 'open' the issue with reference to a marriage celebrated abroad among foreign nationals. The answer also depends on the solution to the question whether the same-sex marriage should be dealt with as a 'marriage', for the purpose of the application of the Italian conflict of law rules ("qualificazione"). It is suggested that Italian practice refuses recognition of same-sex marriages on the ground of the non-configurability as a marriage, and therefore 'downgrading' them in de facto unions. It is also examined how the issue is currently dealt with in the legislative proposal on civil partnerships, recently adopted by the Italian Senate.


  • Same-sex Marriages
  • Recognition
  • Effects
  • Registration
  • Civil Partnerships
  • Characterization


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