LGBTQ concerns in Italy

This moment at a Milan Gay Pride parade doesn't really show a particular concern, but it sure is cute, LGBTQ concerns, Italy, Italy (Photo by cristian)
This moment at a Milan Gay Pride parade doesn't really show a particular concern, but it sure is cute

Information and concerns for gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual travelers in Italy

Much of Italy has grown to accept same-sex couples over the past few decades, and homosexual sex acts are perfectly legal.

Also, all Italians are typically much more affectionate and physical in public than Americans, Canadians, or Brits. You'll see businessmen link arms to walk down the street together, young (straight) men with their arms draped around one another and constantly touching as they talk, even (again, straight) adolescent boys will putter up to one another on their Vespas to hug and cheek-kiss their buddies hello (something most straightlaced straight American pre-teens would rather commit ritual suicide than do).

My point is, holding hands with or putting your arm around your partner while you walk down the street in Italy will not raise any eyebrows. Snogging in public, on the other hand, just might out you.

OK, all that said, in many ways Italy is still a very socially conservative country (see: the pope).

To be on the safe side, do a bit of research on the city or area you're planning to visit.

What are the gay-friendliest places in Italy?

The centers of Italian gay culture tend to be, as you'd expect, the big cities, including MilanRome, and Bologna (a university city and the headquarters of Italy's gay movement).

In 2004, Tuscany became the first region to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual identity, and while the Berlusconi government tried to reverse this regional law in court, I am happy to report that they failed. Piemonte has since followed suit. However, a federal law that would raise homophobic aggression or violence to the level of hate crime has been shunted into an eternal holding pattern in the lower chamber. Still: progress.

Is homosexuality legal in Italy?

Yes. In fact, same0sex acts have been leagal since 1887!

The age of consent is 14 in Italy—for either gay or straight sex.

What is the legal standing of the transgender in Italy?

In 1982, Italy became the third nation in the world to recognise the right to change your legal gender.

Of course, that only applies to Italian citizens and residents. For visitors, legally, officially, in [[thsinat]] you will be treated as whatever gender it says on your passport. However, since your legal gender is not an issue that comes up very often on vacation, you should be good to go.

Is there same-sex marriage in Italy?

No. Same sex marriage is still not possible in Italy.

While LGBT people have the right to live openly, and same-sex civil unions were legalised in 2016, you will have to put off that dream wedding in Italy until full marriage equality is recognized.

That said, in 2017, various cases appealed to the Italian Supreme Court and the European courts effeictively ensured that Italy must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed outside the country.

Gay resources links

More on Gay or lesbian

A gay pride event in Rome's Piazza Navona

Advice, resources, & tours for gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, and queer travelers in Italy

A gay pride event in Rome's Piazza Navona (Photo © Reid Bramblett)

LGBT tours of Italy