02-26-2016 Italy’s Senate overwhelmingly approves a bill to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had made it a personal mission to bring his country into alignment with the rest of Western Europe when it comes to legally recognizing same-sex partnerships. Italy was the only country in the region without any legal recognition or protection for same-sex couples. The bill passed by a margin of 173 – 71. Had the motion failed, the Prime Minister would have been forced to resign.