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Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for April, 2014

Malta passes civil unions

Timothy Kincaid

April 15th, 2014


As anticipated, the legislature of the island nation of Malta has approved civil unions for same-sex couples. (Deutshe Welle)

The Maltese parliament legalized same-sex unions and gay adoption on Monday in a 37-0 vote, signaling a major change in social policy for a conservative country where Catholicism is the state religion.

“Malta is now more liberal and more European, and it has given equality to all its people,” Labour Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.

The opposition Nationalist Party abstained from the vote, saying that although it supports civil unions, it has doubts about adoption rights for gay couples.

The bill now goes to the President for a formal approval at which time Malta will become the southernmost part of Europe to recognize same-sex relationships. From what I glean from their local press, they are rather proud of themselves for this move. As they should be.

UPDATE: The opposition party was anxious that their abstention was not seen as opposition to civil unions or even necessarily as an absolute opposition to adoption, but rather that they opposed that the issues were addressed together. They proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which both parties supported.

Civil unions are coming to Malta

Timothy Kincaid

April 2nd, 2014

Malta is tiny dot in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily. Last September the legislature introduced a bill to provide civil unions which would have all the rights and responsibilities as marriage (including adoption). On February 25th the bill passed committee and now awaits the final third reading before becoming law.

The bill has been on hold since that time due to refusal by the President to sign the bill. (Times of Malta)

Times of Malta reported this morning that the government had postponed the final approval of the Civil Unions Bill as the President had informally told Dr Muscat that he was not willing to sign it into law.

The Bill has been awaiting third reading for five weeks. It would then need to be signed by the President before becoming law. The government is now waiting until President George Abela’s term of office ends on April 4.

Although the incoming President is among the roughly 98% of the half million population that is Catholic, she has no problem signing the bill.

Dr Abela will be succeeded by Family and Social Solidarity Minister Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca who, despite being a staunch Catholic and having opposed divorce, has made it clear she has no problem signing the Bill.

Soon after being nominated for the presidency, Ms Coleiro Preca said since this Bill was an electoral commitment made by the government before the last election she had no problem with it.

The deputy prime minister has promised that the bill will be given its final vote “soon”. To the best of my knowledge, no provision of falcons is required as a condition of the bill.