MALTA: Marriage Equality Now Only Days Away

The Independent reports:

Parliament this evening approved the second reading of the bill introducing gay marriage, with one Nationalist MP, Edwin Vassallo, voting against. The committee stage, as announced this evening by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, will take place on Thursday and Friday with a final vote on the third reading to be taken on Wednesday 12 July.

The Bill, as proposed by government seeks to replace gender specific terminology with gender neutral terms such as ‘spouse’, ‘partner’ and ‘person who gave birth’ instead of ‘mother’, ‘father’, ‘husband’ and ‘wife’. Concluding the debate, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that the discussion in hand was not about marriage, but one about humanity so that everyone is treated equally.

More from Malta Today:

Nationalist MP Hermann Schiavonne ripped into the Bill, describing it as a “Marxist and communist” law intended to introduce uniformity instead of equality. In his speech, Schiavonne said that he will continue to view marriage as solely between a man and a woman, even after the Bill passes into the law.

“No law can change the way I view marriage, but I respect people who want other forms of marriage,” he said. He lambasted the Bill’s proposal to abolish the terms ‘mother’, ‘father’, ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ from certain articles of Maltese law, in favour of the gender-neutral terms ‘parent’ and ‘spouse’.

“These proposed amendments aren’t promoting diversity or equality but uniformity,” he said. “This is a communist and Marxist law, because it is those ideologies that preach that everyone should be the same.”

Despite not yet having full marriage equality, Malta has regularly ranked at the top of European nations on LGBT issues. Back in December, Malta’s Parliament voted unanimously to ban ex-gay torture, the first country in the world to do so.

Around 90% of Malta’s half-million residents are Catholic and Catholicism is nominally the official state religion, per their constitution. (Tipped by JMG reader Luis)

  • Jonathan Smith
  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Do they accept refugees from the trump regime ?

  • Ben in Oakland

    So opposing same sex marriage is not opposing diversity and equality?

    Stupid.

  • Luis De California

    Only 1 MP voted against in the 2nd reading today, which will probably be a mirror of the final vote.

    Technically, he’s supposed to vote with the party line so if they can get him to flip it will be unanimous. I doubt they will, but we’ll see what the party leader does.

  • JT

    Time to plan a getaway to Malta. Maybe I’ll look for the Falcon.

  • JT

    Nationalist MP Hermann Schiavonne ripped into the Bill, describing it as
    a “Marxist and communist” law intended to introduce uniformity instead
    of equality.

    If the aim was uniformity, you’d be required to marry a guy, dipshit.

    • BobSF_94117

      And if it was “Marxist and communist”, you’d be arrested for it right afterwards.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      So wait, Hermy, are you saying that homophobia and ignorance are capitalist?

  • Treant

    OT: I’m watching a horrible old movie that happens to feature Sam Elliott in his late twenties.

    Damn, I’d goo up that guy’s copious chest hair.

    • Hank

      I would have been all UNDER him at any age!!!… even today!!! He always has and always will be HOT!!!

    • Jerry

      “Lifeguard”…

      • Treant

        Yep. Now if Parker Stevenson weren’t in it…

        Sam took his shirt off in Frogs as well. Lousy movie. Hot stud.

        • Jerry

          I watched “Lifeguard” repeatedly when it was on the cable channels back in 80’s and early 90’s…yeah, bad movie except for the young Sam Elliott.

  • BobSF_94117

    The acoustics in that room must be weird.

    • Adam King

      Not to mention that disgusting tortured-corpse idol right in the middle. Creepy.

  • TimJ

    Who ever thinks of Malta? I do! My daughter is doing an internship in physical therapy in Malta at this very moment. We’ll visit her in august, maybe I’ll get gay married while I’m there. 😉

    • Robincho

      I’ve a feeling you would enjoy the bar terrace at the Phoenicia Hotel in Valletta (JMG map misspells it). A couple decades ago the bartender made me a drink there, and in my increasingly long life I can’t think when I’ve ever spent a more magical afternoon.

      Maybe he’s still there. If so, you’ll know him when you see him…

      Every good wish to you and your groom! And if Malta tips to gay marriage, be advised that the line to exchange vows with that bartender will stretch from the Phoenicia Hotel all the way to Marsaxlokk…

      • TimJ

        What a great memory, rather Hemingwayesque. Thanks for sharing!

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  • Luis De California

    Right now Malta is 88% on the European Rainbow Index (LGBT Laws), say hello to the 90% tile, Malta 🙂 Norway is second and UK right behind in the 70s. If some can add constitutional protections and Northern Ireland can stop blocking marriage then we’ll see more countries competing with Malta.

    http://belarusfeed.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/raduzhnyy_reyting_2017.png

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      What is the rationale for ranking Norway or the UK higher than the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain, do you know? These were the first three countries in the world with marriage equality and Pew Surveys have repeatedly shown that the general public in these countries (along with Germany) have the most positive attitudes towards LGBT’s.

      Also, the scale! I know Turkey and E. Europe have lots of room for improvement, but If Monaco is at 10 and Turkey at 9, you would have to dip way down into negative numbers to cover most of the rest of the world.

  • Ninja0980

    Other countries go fowards.. we go backwards.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada
  • metrored

    According to the ILGA, Malta was already the most LGBT friendly country in Europe before doing this. Now they’re just doing doughnuts in the parking lot. I love it!

    Also, could you have found a map where it isn’t literally the smallest thing?

    • Paul

      Quite ironic given that it’s so religious.

      • metrored

        So far the very Catholic countries (Spain, Portugal, Ireland and now Malta) haven’t seemed to have much of a problem with passing gay marriage bills. Yet the ostensibly secular countries like France and Germany, have seen holy hell raised in opposition to gay marriage or seen the conversation blocked all together for years. Another irony, I hear all of the muslim MPs in Germany voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage even as Angela Merkel remained opposed.

        • Paul

          I wonder how this will bode for Italy…

          • metrored

            Well, they did just pass a Civil Unions law but they’re still no Spain. Italy may be a special case though since it holds the Vatican.

          • Luis De California

            The Senator who submitted the Civil Union bill now wants marriage. She also wanted adoption rights, but her original idea to include stepchild adoption in civil unions was axed to get more of the coalition on board and allow Renzi to use a method that skips over any parliamentary obstruction, mainly by the M5S Party.

            Recent polls are saying M5S and the center-left coalition are neck and neck for the next election and no one getting an overall majority. Whatever LGBT progress happens in Italy will all depend on how many seats each party wins in the future.

          • Paul

            Well, with Trumpism crashing and burning, I think it’s safe to say the far-right won’t be winning.

  • Greg in Oz

    Meanwhile, in Australia, we have a bunch of pollies with their heads so far up their own arses protecting themselves that they are not only out of touch, but out of their tiny little minds.
    Support for Marriage Equality has been running at over 60% for so many polls now, that ignoring it will only add to the death knoll of this current government come the next election (not a bad thing though).
    Cannot believe that so few men, namely, the few members of the rabid extreme right of the Liberals (believe it or not my American Friends – the ‘Liberal Party’ are our conservatives) can hold a whole country to ransom, because their leader is too shit scared of them to actually support equality now that he has the top job – which he used to proudly proclaim prior to taking the Prime Ministership.
    We could have had another Trudeau, but instead, we have Trump-lite!!!!