In Italy, Senate on 25 February 2016 approved a bill recognising civil unions for same-sex and heterosexual couples. The motion was approved by a 173-71 vote.
The text maintains provisions including the right to a residence permit for foreign partners and to take a same-sex partner's name.
However, it removed the provision that would have allowed gay adoptions and other clauses.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi put his government on the line for the bill, resorting to a confidence vote in the Senate yesterday to push through the amended text. He removed the gay adoption provision to overcome opposition from several lawmakers. Italy is a Catholic country.
The bill now needs to go before a vote in the lower house (Chamber of Deputies), and will become an act within two months after being approved there.
Gay rights groups have voiced anger, on the streets and on social media, saying the bill has been diluted too much.
Earlier in 2015, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italy had violated human rights by failing to offer enough legal protection for same-sex couples.
Italy is the only major European country to have so far given no legal rights to same-sex couples.
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Where: Italy's Senate
When: 25 February 2016