Rome, January 8 - Five Italian LGBT associations announced Friday that they plan to demonstrate in cities across the country on January 23, to raise awareness and support for a civil unions bill set for discussion in the Senate later this month. The groups organising the national protest are Arcigay, ArciLesbica, Agedo, MIT and Famiglie Arcobaleno. "Italy is one of the few European countries that doesn't have any type of legal recognition of same-sex couples," the groups said, in a written appeal to the government. "Every parent's wish is that their children can grow up in a country in which everyone has the same rights and the same responsibilities". A heated debate is currently underway within Premier Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party (PD) and between PD and centrist allies over a provision in the bill introducing stepchild adoption, or the adoption of the biological child of one partner in a civil union by the other. Conservative Catholics contest this measure on grounds it could pave the way for surrogacy, which is presently outlawed in Italy. The issue is proving a major obstacle to the passage of the law.