Fifteen homosexual and heterosexual couples living in stable relationships have asked to be listed in the first Rome register of Civil Unions which was started in the X municipality , the densely populated areas of Cinecitt and Tuscolana to the south of the Rome.
The couples wishing to be listed fill out and sign a form declaring that they wish to confirm the union with their partner. The declaration is transferred onto the Civil Union list and these couples then have access to certain social services provided by the city council which are not normally available to unmarried couples. These services include the right to register any children they may have into the local council nursery schools, they may apply for help with housing and if they are elderly they may apply for assistance as a couple.
For the moment the X municipality is the only one in Rome to begin a register of this kind and the president of the municipality, Sandra Medici, hopes that it will be a significant contribution to the political discussion over Patto Civile di Solidariet, or PACS. These unions are opposed by the Italian Catholic church, but much desired by many thousands of Italian couples and, if they were made law, would give these couples the same legal rights as married one.