21 December 2022

A complaint against Beppe Sala

The mayor of Milan has unilaterally decided to register the birth certificates of children 'of homogenous couples', including those born from uterus for rent, a practice that is a crime in Italy and that even Europe stigmatises as exploitation. Faced with the refusal of any political confrontation, the Network for the Inviolability of the Feminine Body turns to the judiciary to assess a possible violation of the law: the registry office, in fact, is strictly within the competence of the central State
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On 2 July 2022 at the Gay Pride the mayor of Milan Beppe Sala publicly announced from the stage of the event to have "Since yesterday, the recognition of children born in Italy to same-sex couples has been reactivated. It is with great joy that I personally signed yesterday in my office" adding that "Milan wants to be the capital of rights and duties!".

The practice of surrogacy -or gestation for others- cannot be considered a right under any circumstances.. In Italy it constitutes a offence under Law 40/2004 (Art. 12(6)): "Whoever, in any form, carries out, organises or advertises the commercialisation of gametes or embryos or maternity surrogacy shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of three months to two years and a fine of between €600,000 and €1 million."

All subsequent judgments on the subject unequivocally reiterate without exception the prohibition and condemnation of gestation for others, a practice to which is attributed a "high degree of disvalue" as "intolerably offends the dignity of women and deeply undermines human relations"(Constitutional Court, judgment 272/2017).

Last May a resolution of the European Parliament reiterated and reinforced the condemnation of the practice "which can expose women around the world, particularly the poorest and those in vulnerable situations, to exploitation" and requested the Union and member states to analyse "the size of that industry" and especially of introduce "binding measures to combat surrogacy, protecting the rights of women and babies".

The Italian State does not recognise birth certificates issued abroad of children born through this practice as contrary to public order, regardless of whether it is undertaken by heterosexual or homosexual couples, as well as the birth certificates of children born at the initiative of female couples by means of assisted fertilisation techniques: for the biological parent's partner, it is the adoption route indicated in special cases (United Sections of the Supreme Court, judgment 12193/2019) today fully legitimising.

However, in the absence of national legislation ad hoc as well as precise directives from the Ministry of the Interior, these acts are sometimes registered on the autonomous initiative of local administrations, creating a patchy situation: if the Prefecture of Turin recently blocked the mayor's initiative to transcribe these deeds, there are no similar initiatives from the Milan Prefecture, which apparently has not yet pronounced itself on the mayor's initiative.

Beppe Sala's autonomous decision seems to be outside the scope of municipal powers and the tasks conferred on him as mayor. According to Article 117 of the Constitution, in fact, the State holds the power of EXCLUSIVE legislation "in matters of citizenship, civil status, registry office'.

It is not known at present how many birth certificates of children of 'homogenous couples' have been registered by the Milan registry office, nor how many of these birth certificates concern births from surrogacy.

Although normally oriented towards seeking political solutions, noting the impossibility of a confrontation with the mayor of Milan regarding his unilateral initiative, as the Network for the Inviolability of the Female Body we see no other way but to turn to the judiciary with a complaint to the Public Prosecutor's Office at the ordinary Court of Milan to assess whether one or more offences have been committed, and if so, to bring criminal proceedings against the persons responsible, first and foremost the mayor Beppe Sala.

Expressing thehope that Parliament will legislate finally unequivocal on the matter, holding firmly to the point that the child's first interest (for whose protection, it is argued, these birth certificates are registered) is rather that of not to be traded, not to be separated at birth from the mother who gave birth to him and to know the truth about his origins; stressing that any mother who falsely declares the paternity of her child is liable to prosecution for forgery in a public act, therefore the treatment of same-sex couples would be 'unequal' in conflict with Article 3 of the Constitution which wants us to be equal before the law; bearing in mind that the Full registration of these birth acts performed abroad effectively removes a significant obstacle to the use of the practice of surrogacy, ending up normalising and encouraging it, we confidently await a ruling from the judiciary.


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