Forget PACS (What do you mean, you already have?) Forget DICO (Eat more fish!). The latest acronym to tantalise and tease us, as Dame Shirley Bassey might have put it, is CUS. It stands for Contratto di Unione Solidale (Solid Union Contract) and it’s supposed to be the answer to every unmarried couple’s prayer for legal recognition.
Well, it ain’t. It makes no provision for tax relief, is downright evasive about pension rights, postpones inheritance rights until the ninth year of the contract and even then allots the surviving partner no more than a quarter of what’s left if a brother or sister of the deceased is still alive. It doesn’t allow for leave when the partner’s sick. Basically, it’s a cock-up.
On the other hand, it’s so gutless and bland it will be interesting to see what the homophobes of the centre-left come up with to attack it. The centre-right is already calling the CUS a do-it-yourself marriage, so let’s all grab a hammer and a handful of nails and knock one up.
It’s also an unfortunate acronym, unlike DICO, which had a nice ambiguity, and ring, to it. CUS stands for University Sports Centre in Italian, so expect some fun there as chest-heaving hearties defend their sexual integrity. What’s more, it rhymes with only two words in Italian: pus and bus. Is this really the image we need? Unpunctual, overcrowded, and er, yellow?