Law No. 76 of May 20, 2016 (published on the Official Journal No. 118 of May 21, 2016) on civil partnerships between persons of the same sex, and on living together without being married, entered into force on June 5 last.
Law 76/2016 regulates both the relationship between two persons of the same sex, known as "civil partnership", and the living together of two persons of the same sex or of different sex, without being married.
1. Civil Partnerships
A civil partnership is a social partnership between two persons of the same sex that entails a change in the civil status of the parties concerned.
Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers No. 144 of July 23, 2016, in force since July 29 last, has set a transitional regime. Hence, since this date it has been possible to establish civil partnerships between persons of the same sex in Italian Municipalities and, for the citizens living abroad, in Italian Consulates.
As a result, an Italian national who is registered with AIRE and wants to establish a civil partnership abroad can address to the consular office having jurisdiction over the applicant's place of residence. While establishing the civil partnership, the two parties may state - if they so wish – the common last name and /or statutory property regime they choose.
The civil partnerships established at the Italian consular offices are entered into the Civil Status Register of the Municipality where the party registered with AIRE.
It should be recalled that, pursuant to the 1963 Vienna Convention on consular relations, the Italian consular Authority can perform the duties of Public Registrar, provided that the laws and regulations of the State where the accreditation was granted do not prevent it. Hence it is not always possible to establish civil partnerships abroad.
The provisions enshrined in the transitional regime also provide for the registration in Italy of marriage or civil partnership between persons of the same sex - of whom at least one is an Italian national - established before foreign Authorities.
The request for registering the civil partnership must be filed with the Italian consular office having jurisdiction over the applicant's place of residence.
2. Living together without being married
Living together without being married is regulated by Law 76/2016 and differs from civil partnerships. It does not entail any change in the civil status of the parties concerned.
An Italian national living abroad may declare he / she lives together with a person of the same sex or of a different sex at the consular office competent for his / her place of residence. An Italian national living abroad can address to this same consular office and enter into the “living together contract”, as envisaged by paragraph 50 of Law 76/2016 or ask for the certification of the signatures at the end of the contract. The living together contract is regulated by the Italian law only if both parties are Italian nationals or live in Italy. If they have different nationalities and live in a foreign country, the applicable law will be the law of that country.