Italian lawmakers will consider recognizing same-sex civil unions

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Italian Lawmakers Will Consider Recognizing Same-Sex Civil Unions

Italy is the only country left in Western Europe that hasn't legalized gay marriage or civil unions.

But that could change soon. Thursday, Italy's parliament will start discussing if the country should adopt new legislation to recognize civil unions.

RELATED: Reaction to legalizing same sex marriage in Ireland:

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Italian lawmakers will consider recognizing same-sex civil unions
Supporters react outside Dublin Castle following the result of the same-sex marriage referendum in Dublin on May 23, 2015. Ireland on Saturday became the first country in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote as crowds cheered in Dublin in a spectacular setback for the once all-powerful Catholic Church. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITH (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: A gay couple kiss in Dublin Castle Square as the result of the referendum is relayed on May 23, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland. Voters in the Republic of Ireland were taking part in a referendum on legalising same-sex marriage on Friday. The referendum was held 22 years after Ireland decriminalised homosexuality with more than 3.2m people being asked whether they want to amend the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Ireland voted overwhelmingly to legalise same-sex marriage in a historic referendum. More than 62% voted in favour of amending the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. It is the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Supporters react outside Dublin Castle following the announcement of the result of the same-sex marriage referendum in Dublin on May 23, 2015. Ireland on Saturday became the first country in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote as crowds cheered in Dublin in a spectacular setback for the once all-powerful Catholic Church. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITH (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: Thousands of people celebrate in Dublin Castle Square as the result of the referendum is relayed on May 23, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland. Voters in the Republic of Ireland were taking part in a referendum on legalising same-sex marriage on Friday. The referendum was held 22 years after Ireland decriminalised homosexuality with more than 3.2m people being asked whether they want to amend the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Ireland voted overwhelmingly to legalise same-sex marriage in a historic referendum. More than 62% voted in favour of amending the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. It is the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
A supporter holds a sign reading 'Thank You - You're All Invited to the Wedding' as he celebrates outside Dublin Castle following the result of the same-sex marriage referendum in Dublin on May 23, 2015. Ireland on Saturday became the first country in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote as crowds cheered in Dublin in a spectacular setback for the once all-powerful Catholic Church. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITH (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: An emotional gay couple celebrate in Dublin Castle Square as the result of the referendum is relayed on May 23, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland. Voters in the Republic of Ireland were taking part in a referendum on legalising same-sex marriage on Friday. The referendum was held 22 years after Ireland decriminalised homosexuality with more than 3.2m people being asked whether they want to amend the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Ireland voted overwhelmingly to legalise same-sex marriage in a historic referendum. More than 62% voted in favour of amending the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. It is the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Supporters for same-sex marriage wait for the result of the referendum at Dublin Castle on May 23, 2015 in Dublin. Ireland looked set today to become the first country in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote as crowds cheered in the streets of Dublin in anticipation of the spectacular setback for the once all-powerful Catholic Church. AFP PHOTO / Paul Faith (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: A supporter in favour of same-sex marriage stands under a rainbow umbrella as thousands gather in Dublin Castle square awaiting the vote outcome on May 23, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland. Voters in the Republic of Ireland are taking part in a referendum on legalising same-sex marriage on Friday. The referendum was held 22 years after Ireland decriminalised homosexuality with more than 3.2m people being asked whether they want to amend the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 22: A woman cycles past billboard posters promoting the Yes campaign in favour of same-sex marriage on May 22, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland. Voters in the Republic of Ireland are taking part in a referendum on legalising same-sex marriage on Friday. The referendum is being held 22 years after Ireland decriminalised homosexuality with more than 3.2m people being asked whether they want to amend the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Polling stations opened at 07:00 BST with voting continuing until 22:00 BST and counting due to start on Saturday morning. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Carmelite sisters leave a polling station in Malahide, County Dublin, Ireland, Friday, May 22, 2015. Ireland began voting Friday in a referendum on gay marriage which will require an amendment to the Irish constitution. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Pedestrians walk a pro same-sex marriage 'Yes' banner hanging in the window the Green Party's office in Dublin on May 21, 2015. Ireland goes to the polls tomorrow to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITH (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
A gay couple pose holding hands as they walk out of a polling station after voting in Drogheda, north Dublin on May 22, 2015. Ireland took to the polls today to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation. AFP PHOTO / Paul Faith (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 22: A nun casts her vote at a polling station on May 22, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland. Voters in the Republic of Ireland are taking part in a referendum on legalising same-sex marriage on Friday. The referendum is being held 22 years after Ireland decriminalised homosexuality with more than 3.2m people being asked whether they want to amend the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Polling stations opened at 07:00 BST with voting continuing until 22:00 BST and counting due to start on Saturday morning. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Voters leave a polling station in Malahide, County Dublin, Ireland Friday, May 22, 2015. Ireland began voting Friday in a referendum on amending the Irish constitution to give marriage rights to homosexuals. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Pedestrians walk past a mural in favour of same-sex marriages in Dublin on May 21, 2015. Ireland goes to the polls tomorrow to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITH (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Pedestrians walk past anti same-sex marriage posters in Dublin on May 21, 2015. Ireland goes to the polls tomorrow to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITH (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
In this Thursday, April 23, 2015 photo, a gay rights mural decorates the side of a building in central Dublin, Ireland. Barely a generation ago, Ireland listed homosexual acts as a crime and made gays lead secret lives or emigrate to more liberal lands. But on Friday, May 22, 2015, in the world’s first national referendum on the matter, the Irish could vote to legalize same-sex marriage. The contest has pit the waning power of the Catholic Church against the secular-minded government of Prime Minister Enda Kenny. (AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik)
Carmelite sisters cast their vote at a polling station in Malahide, County Dublin, Ireland, Friday, May 22, 2015. Ireland began voting Friday in a referendum on Gay marriage which will require an amendment to the Irish constitution. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Sister Loreto Ryan (C) of the Sisters of Charity arrives to vote at a polling station in Drumcondra, north Dublin on May 22, 2015. Ireland took to the polls today to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation. AFP PHOTO / Paul Faith (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Pedestrians walk past a mural in favour of same-sex marriages in Dublin on May 21, 2015. Ireland goes to the polls tomorrow to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation. AFP PHOTO / Paul Faith (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
A mural in favour of same-sex marriage is pictured on a wall in Dublin on May 21, 2015. Ireland goes to the polls tomorrow to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITH (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Pedestrians walk past a banner in favour of same-sex marriages in Dublin on May 21, 2015. Ireland goes to the polls tomorrow to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITH (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Women cast their vote in a polling station in Malahide, County Dublin, Ireland, Friday, May 22, 2015. Ireland began voting Friday in a referendum on Gay marriage which will require an amendment to the Irish constitution. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 22: A man walks past a mural promoting the Yes campaign in favour of same-sex marriage on May 22, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland. Voters in the Republic of Ireland are taking part in a referendum on legalising same-sex marriage on Friday. The referendum is being held 22 years after Ireland decriminalised homosexuality with more than 3.2m people being asked whether they want to amend the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Polling stations opened at 07:00 BST with voting continuing until 22:00 BST and counting due to start on Saturday morning. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Members of the public leave after voting at a polling station in Drumcondra, north Dublin on May 22, 2015. Ireland took to the polls today to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation. AFP PHOTO / Paul Faith (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the public arrive to vote at a polling station in Drumcondra, north Dublin on May 22, 2015. Ireland took to the polls today to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation. AFP PHOTO / Paul Faith (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)
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The largely conservatively Catholic country has been slow to come on board. In the past, the Vatican has shot down possibilities of legalization.

The discussion has been in the wings for a while. After Ireland legalized gay marriage last May, Italy's prime minister predicted the country was ready for legalization as well.

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