Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Zein Murib, Ph.D.


The issue of marriage equality has encouraged many queer groups to mobilize over the past half-century. Two states where this trend has clearly been illustrated are Italy and the United States of America. While the United States has a widely studied history of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) rights movements, the presence of such political activity in Italy has been less known on the world stage. With this in mind, this thesis studies how similar efforts to pass same-sex marriage legislation resulted in different outcomes, which are measured by whether same-sex marriage has been codified on the national level, such as in the United States, whereas Italy only recognizes same-sex civil unions as of December 2018. The main variables of this project are religious actors, such as the Roman Catholic Church in Italy and the Christian Right in the U.S., and governmental, institutional actors, such as the European Union and the legislature in Italy and the federal government’s legislative and judicial branches in the United States. Furthermore, this thesis examines both the Roman Catholic Church, as well as its papal politics, and the European Union as main policymakers in Italy, and the role of the so-called “religious right” and the Supreme Court of the United States in similar capacities in the U.S. case. This project synthesizes these findings to draw larger generalizations about what these outcomes mean for marriage equality, policymaking and LGBTQ rights on the global stage.