During the XIIIth parliamentary session, at least ten bills were presented (by Nichi Vendola, Luigi Manconi, Gloria Buffo, Ersilia Salvato, Graziano Cioni, Antonio Soda, Luciana Sbarbati, Antonio Lisi, Anna Maria De Luca, and Mauro Paissan).
None of these ever made it to a discussion on the floor of the House - not least due to the explicit influence and strident opposition of the Catholic hierarchy which often spoke up on political issues with an ethical resonance.
However, the PACS principle was given particular resonance by the union of Alessio De Giorgi and Christian Pierre Panicucci on 21 October 2002 at the French Embassy in Rome.
That day same, Grillini introduced the bill in Parliament; it ultimately failed but had been supported by 161 parliamentarians from the centre-left.
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Two days later the Conference of Italian Bishops (CEI) staged a counter-demonstration, also in Rome.
Some government officials (such as the Minister for Equal Opportunities, Barbara Pollastrini, and the Minister for Social Solidarity, Paolo Ferrero) took part in the demonstration and were later criticized by Mr Prodi for their participation.
Later in the year, the DICO bill was merged with other civil union proposals and the Senate's Judiciary Committee discussed a new draft known as Contratto di Unione Solidale (Contract for Social Unions).
Nevertheless, in February 2008, an early election was called, thus dissolving the incumbent Parliament, and all pending legislation died in committee.
On 16 June, the annual Rome Gay Pride hit a record attendance of about 1,000,000 demonstrators.
The Pride parade had a strong political flavour, as LGBT associations meant it to be a response to the opposition demonstrations.