‘A Case with Peculiarities’: Mixed Same-Sex Marriages Before the Supreme Court

by Matteo M. Winkler

This article examines the judgment of the Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) no 11696 of 14 May 2018 concerning the legal status of mixed same-sex married couples under Italian law. It explores the problems relating to the recognition and the civil status registration in Italy of couples of the same sex where one spouse is a foreigner and the other is Italian. Legge 20 May 2016 no 76 (registered partnerships law) and decreto legislativo 19 January 2017 no 7 established a regime under which Italian couples who married abroad are recognised and registered, hence downgraded, as civil partners, whereas foreign couples are recognised and registered as married. They say nothing, however, on mixed couples. During the parliamentary debate, however, the government affirmed that their main concern was to avoid Italians to circumvent the registered partnerships law by marrying abroad and then obtaining the recognition of their marriage in Italy. Based on this intent, the Supreme Court found that mixed couples are subject to the same anti-elusive logic – a construction that this article criticises under several viewpoints.

DOI 10.23815/2421-2156.ITALJ           ISSN 2421-2156

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