Italian court rules against homophobia in case of two mums and baby Joan

“Joan has two mums: the mayor needs to get over it”


Perugia – at last. The mothers of baby Joan, who last year were refused the right to register the birth of their child by the Mayor of Perugia, on grounds that it was "contrary to public order" have finally received a verdict in respect of their appeal.


The case had previously attracted both interest and indignation from the local community, from local and national press, and from the City Council of Perugia, which called for the Mayor to go ahead with the registration.


Now in a verdict handed down to the mothers' lawyers – Vincenzo Miri and Martina Colomasi, of the Lanford Network, which provides legal support for LGBT rights – judges of the Civil Tribunal of Perugia have ordered Andrea Romizi, Mayor of Perugia to go ahead and register Joan's birth with immediate effect.


"Justice has been done for baby Joan”, observed Stefano Bucaioni, president of Omphalos.


“We were confident about the decision of the Magistracy, to whom we provided evidence of several precedents on this, provided by courts up to and including the Supreme Court.


"Mayor Romizi chose to ignore all this and and to hijack the people and city of Perugia as parties to an absurd discriminatory crusade that could have ended in no other way.


"Joan has two mothers and both will be recognized, no matter whether the Mayor and the reactionary part of his electorate like it or not. They need to get over it".


Joan's mums contacted the Omphalos legal desk for help in getting their child's documentation and identity sorted out. The association had repeatedly requested a meeting with the first citizen to explain his actions: but this was refused until the formal rejection of the registration.


Omphalos, thanks to the valuable support of the Lenford Network (Rete Lenford), the association of lawyers for LGBT rights, therefore took the case to the press and supported the two mothers all the way to the appeal at Tribunal. This appeal was fully accepted, despite a last minute awkward attempt by municipal administration to regain the initiative in December by registering just one of the two mothers.


Bucaioni went on: “The Mayor must now apologise to baby Joan and their mothers for leaving them without documents or identity for 12 long months. He needs also to apologise to the city of Perugia, for the appalling impression that he has fostered, dragging the city on the pages of national newspapers.


"As a result of this sorry tale, Omphalos has earned the enmity of the municipal administration, which has decided to cancel its sponsorship of a pride dedicated to Joan and to refuse any further sponsorships for association events, including celebrations for its 25th anniversary.


"Despite this, the association will continue to pursue the appropriate course of action without fear and with head held high, in the sure knowledge that it is on the right side of history." 


This story was kindly translated from Italian to English by Jane Fae. The original Italian coverage can be found here.



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