Many of the opinion polls conducted in Italy in recent years about the topic of the recognition of de facto couples, including homosexual couples, have confirmed what is by now a widespread perception: the majority of Italian public opinion is in favour of the recognition of all forms of cohabitation. This is further confirmed by the latest Italy Report 2009 published by Eurispes, which states that more than half of all Italians, including a majority of men, are prepared to see de facto couples recognised, regardless of whether they are heterosexual or homosexual; more specifically, the report underlines that men are more favourable to marriage between homosexuals. The situation changes significantly when the question is that of adoption: while a large majority of Italians look with favour on the extension of the possibility to adopt to heterosexual couples who are not married, only a minority would also include homosexual couples among aspiring adopters. Leaving aside those countries that allow homosexual couples the right to conclude marriage and to adopt children, in many others the prevailing attitude seems to be one of general caution. Nevertheless, the authors point out what underlies enduring resistance is particularly resilient prejudice, both because, for all sorts of reasons, families where homosexual parents have the care and control of their children from previous marriages already appear to be very widespread, and because numerous court rulings have drastically curtailed the idea that a sexual orientation can be decisive for choosing to which parent the care and control of underage children should be entrusted.
Keywords: Families, Civil unions, Gay marriage, Adoption, Court decisions