News Brief: Malta Passes Equal Marriage!

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Malta Passes Equal Marriage

News Brief Malta Passes Equal Marriage

News Brief:  Malta Passes Equal Marriage!

Malta’s Parliament has overwhelmingly passed marriage equality.

Earlier this year, the country’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, a strong supporter of LGBT equality, brought forward proposals to introduce equal marriage.  On July 12th, those proposals were given final approval by the country’s Parliament, thus paving the way for gay couples to start marrying.

The law furthers reforms first made in 2014, when civil unions were opened up to same-sex couples. 

The bill has attracted some controversy, though; with some conservatives objecting to changes contained within the legislation, that overhaul the country’s laws to remove traditionally-gendered language like “husband and wife” and “mother and father.”

The bill’s passage was remarkably smooth, with just one of the country’s 67 MPs voting against the law:  Nationalist MP Edwin Vassallo.  The Nationalist Party leadership had accused the government of rushing through the changes without proper consultation, but ultimately voted in favor of the law.

Under Muscat’s leadership, the traditionally conservative Catholic island nation has become one of the most progressive in Europe for LGBT people.  Malta has already outlawed “gay cure’ therapy and passed progressive reforms for transgender and intersex people.

The PM has urged other Commonwealth countries to follow Malta’s example and throw out their archaic Colonial-era anti-LGBT laws.  “The remarkable number of our countries [with anti-LGBT laws] is, arguably, a considerable blot on our family of nations’ standing.  I had conversations and am aware that there are leaders who know that things must change, but are wary of how society will react to their first move.”