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    Rory O'Neill, known by the Drag persona Panti, celebrates with yes supporters at Dublin Castle, Ireland, Saturday, May 23, 2015. Ireland has voted resoundingly to legalize gay marriage in the world's first national vote on the issue, leaders on both sides of the Irish referendum declared Saturday even as official ballot counting continued. Senior figures from the no campaign, who sought to prevent Ireland's constitution from being amended to permit same-sex marriages, say the only question is how large the yes side's margin of victory will be from Friday's vote.

    Italian Parliament Backs PM Proposal to Legalize Gay Marriages

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    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's initiative to recognize gay couples was adopted by the lower house of parliament on Wednesday, Corriere della Sera reported.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's initiative to recognize gay couples was adopted by the lower house of parliament Wednesday, with 369 votes in favor and 193 against, while there were two abstentions, Corriere della Sera reported.

    "This day is a day of celebration for many," Renzi wrote on Facebook.

    Italian same-sex unions have not been recognized for a long time due to strong anti-gay sentiment among Catholic conservatives.

    ​The new law provides civil union status to same-sex partnerships. However, they still will not enjoy the full range of rights granted to married heterosexual couples, such as the right to inherit part of a deceased spouse's pension.

    Currently, European homosexuals have the right to register their union as a marriage in 9 countries and to obtain civil partnership status in 13 countries.


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