writes: Bearing signs that read “It’s time to be civilized. Wake up Italy,” thousands gathered in Rome and in gay rights protests around Italy in support of a civil union bill that is under consideration by the parliament, a bill that would finally give some measure of rights to gay and lesbian people in the third largest economy in the Eurozone.

AFP reports:

According to Italian media, there were at least 7,000 demonstrators in Turin, 5,000 in Milan, thousands in Rome and Bologna, a thousand in Bari in the south, and hundreds in Naples and Venice among others.

“It is a historic day for this country, an immense protest that was fed by the desire and enthusiasm of a lot of people who hold the belief in equality close to their hearts,” said Gabriele Piazzoni, the national secretary of Italy’s biggest gay rights group, Arcigay.

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