An Italian court recognised a gay couple as married for the first time in Italy despite the country being one of the few countries in Europe that does not recognise same-sex civil unions or marriage.

The court in Grosseto, Tuscany ordered the city council to recognise the couple's marriage in New York in 2012 as legally valid in Italy. Grosseto Judge Claudio Boccini wrote in his ruling that there was "no reference to gender" in the city council register of married couples, and therefore there was no reason to exclude them from the register.

The right to marry has acquired new and wider connotations, which include marriage between two people of the same gender.

Aurelio Mancuso, head of Equality Italia, said:

They have managed to achieve what has always been denied by city authorities and courts - having their status as a couple married in a foreign country recognised.

The couple were initially denied registration by the city council but had appealed to the court. The Tuscany area newspaper, Il Tirreno, named them as Giuseppe Chigiotti, an architect, and Stefano Bucci, a journalist.

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At this time it is unclear what legal standing the recognition has outside of the local jurisdiction or if the ruling counts as precedent elsewhere in the country.

Image via Getty.