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Married couples in Italy will no longer have to pledge fidelity to each other under a draft law being considered by Parliament.

MPs are considering an amendment to article 143 of Italy’s civil code which would remove the word "fidelity" from Italian marriage contracts.

The promise not to cheat is a "cultural legacy from an outdated and obsolete view of marriage, family, and the rights and duties of spouses", according to a dozen senators backing the bill.

The amendment was presented by Laura Cantini, a senator from the ruling Democratic Party, who has described the change as a step forward from what she called the "legacy of an outdated vision of marriage”.

She says the amendment was consistent with the new era of civil unions and a sign of sexual freedom within marriage.

Senator Cantini’s amendment, which was presented to the Senate in February this year, has now been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The senators say fidelity should not be thought of only in sexual terms.

"The obligation to fidelity should be understood not only as sexual fidelity but above all respect and trust in each other, which is an important value, that should not be up to the state to impose by law," the proposal says.

They have also referred to a previous ruling from Italy’s highest court, which declared that judges could not legally place the blame for a marriage separation "on the mere failure to observe the duty of fidelity".

Instead, the other party has to prove that their spouse’s infidelity led to the irreconcilable breakdown of the marriage.

In May, Italy became the last Western European country to allow civil unions between homosexuals after fierce resistance from the Catholic church and conservatives.

According to a 2014 poll, 55 per cent of men and around 33 per cent of women in Italy have cheated on their partners.