Green light for gays

ROME: Italy’s parliament on Wednesday gave a green light for the introduction of gay civil unions in the last major Western country not to legally recognise same-sex relationships.

Lawmakers in the lower-house Chamber of Deputies voted 369-193 in favour of a vote of confidence in the government which makes final approval of the divisive civil unions bill automatic.

The long-awaited and much-disputed legislation was hailed as a civil rights landmark but also criticised as falling short of full equality for gay couples, particularly in relation to adoption rights.

The bill itself was expected to be voted later Wednesday.