Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Italian court changes child's name

By Libby

Remembering the brouhaha that ensued when it was rumored that Hugo Chavez was going to mandate a list of acceptable names for children, it's surprising that this Italian edict received almost no attention.

ROME (Reuters) - An Italian court has ruled that a couple could not name their son "Friday" and ordered that he instead be called Gregory after the saint whose feast day he was born on.

Friday/Gregory Germano was born in Genoa 15 months ago. The parents registered him as Friday in the city hall and a priest even baptised him as Friday -- unusual in Italy since many priests insist that first names be of Christian origin. [...]

When the boy was about five months old, a city hall clerk brought the odd name to the attention of a tribunal, which informed the couple of an administrative norm which bars parents from giving "ridiculous or shameful" first names to children. The tribunal said it was protecting the child from being the butt of jokes and added that it believed the name would hinder him from developing "serene interpersonal relationships".

Worse yet, it seems to be a case of selective enforcement.

"I really doubt this would have happened to the child of parents who are rich and famous," the boy's mother told Reuters, recalling that some famous Italians had given their children unorthodox names such as "Ocean" or "Chanel".

They say money can't buy love, and it can't buy happiness, but I guess it can buy 'justice' anywhere. [h/t Terry D]

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