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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in Italy significantly advanced in the 21st century, although LGBT people still face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. According to ILGA-Europe's 2021 report, the status of LGBT rights in Italy is the worst among Western European countries - such as still legally banning same-sex marriage, no discrimination protections for goods and services and also lacking any parental rights for same-sex couples within adoption and IVF.
In Italy, both male and female same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1890, when a new Penal Code was promulgated. A civil union law was passed in May 2016, providing same-sex couples with many of the rights of marriage. Stepchild adoption was, however, excluded from the bill, and it is currently a matter of judicial debate. The same law provides both same-sex and heterosexual couples which live in an unregistered cohabitation with several legal rights.
Italy is largely accepting and welcoming of those who identify on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Travellers visiting high-touristed areas such as Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome should have no problem in expressing themselves and enjoying a hassle-free holiday.
While accepting, Italy still has a long way to go to legally recognise LGBT residents in law. Same-sex relationships are legal and largely accepted, and civil unions have been in law since 2016. Same-sex marriage is currently not legal. Anti-discrimination laws are present in employment contexts, but in many other situations, no formal laws have been passed to protect sexual orientation or gender identity.
LGBT couples should have no issues expressing themselves in a respectful way when in public. In more rural and regional areas, overt displays of affection can attract negative attention, as smaller towns tend to be more conservative and less accepting. Homosexuality is much more accepted in the north than the south; however, tourist hotspots, such as Capri and Taormina in Sicily, are well-known as LGBT-friendly.