In this article, I use the current struggle over recognition of rights for same-sex couples in Italy as a window on larger policymaking processes. Associazione Radicale Certi Diritti is leading the charge for the recognition of rights for same-sex couples in Italy with its innovative national campaign Affermazione Civile that seeks to obtain marriage equality for same-sex couples in Italy through the deployment of judicial initiatives. Through the Affermazione Civile project, Italian LGBTI rights activists successfully circumvent national politics and advance recognition of same-sex couples' rights in Italy. I argue that recent policy changes with respect to the treatment of this group are direct products of the EU's influence on the national judicial system and demonstrate a continuing trend towards increased judicial activism at the expense of national politics. This article illustrates how the EU influences the making of national public policy outside the economic realm in unanticipated and unintended ways.