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Italy overrules Church with green light for gay unions

Italy's long-awaited legislation was hailed as a civil rights landmark but criticised as falling short of full equality for gay couplesItaly on Wednesday joined the rest of the Western world in extending legal recognition to same-sex relationships with parliament overwhelmingly backing gay civil unions after a long battle to overcome opposition led by the Catholic church. The government used the same confidence vote tactic to get the bill approved by the upper house Senate in February, but only after the original text had been diluted to appease opponents threatening to scupper it altogether.

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