— Ignazio Marino (@ignaziomarino) October 18, 2014
Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino on Saturday went against Italy’s law by registering 16 gay marriages that had been performed in other countries.
The mayor was greeted by the applause of gay couples and their families who had gathered at the city hall reception room where Marino transcribed the date and locations of their weddings, which included the United States, Spain and Portugal, the AP reported.
Gay marriage is illegal in Italy, and in response to Saturday’s ceremony, the country’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said that any registrations of foreign gay marriages would be voided immediately, the AP reported.
The transcriptions are considered symbolic and not legally binding, with mayors in cities like Milan and Bologna having done the same in the past, Bloomberg reported.
Marino said Saturday was important in the fight for equal rights and “the most important right is to say to your companion ‘I love you’ and to have that be recognized,” the AP reported. In a tweet, Marino wrote “How can you not call it love? #rometranscribes.”
While those in attendance applauded Marino for his efforts, several protesters stood outside the building holding up signs which read “Stop Marino” and “Transcriptions don’t make families,” the AP reported.