The Malta Independent 15 November 2018, Thursday

Updated (2): Government working on introduction of gay marriage; Labour using LGBT community - PN

Tuesday, 21 February 2017, 16:26 Last update: about 3 years ago

Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli revealed that her ministry is working on revisions to the marriage equality act, stating that while civil union awards homosexual couples the same rights as marriage under a different name, the government is working on “changing that”.

Dr Dalli’s comments were made during an activity organised by NGO Drachma - a support group for LGBTIQ persons and for parents with LGBTIQ children. A member in the audience questioned if Malta would be introducing gay marriage, which is when Dr Dalli announced the news that the government is indeed working on this.

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Civil unions were approved by Parliament on 14 April 2014, as well as the introduction of gay adoption. The bill awarded homosexual couples the opportunity enter into a civil union and receive the same rights and privileges as married couples.

The Nationalist Party had abstained from voting on the Bill’s approval on the grounds that it did not agree with gay adoption.

In a statement, the PN said that when the Panama Papers scandal broke out, Joseph Muscat had said that the government was working on a law regarding gay marriage.

At the time, Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil said the PN had no problem to change civil unions into gay marriages.

It's been a year since that happened and the government is still dragging its feet. What is it waiting for, the PN asked, in a statement issued by spokesman Clyde Puli.

The PN appealed to the government not to turn this issue into a politcal football. Neither should it always use the LGBT community each time it has its back against the wall on the Panama papers

Social Dialogue Minister Helena Dalli also addressed the issue in Parliament, and expressed her anger at the PN’s statement. She said that the Opposition turned their backs on minorities for 25 years

She said that it was a Turkish delegate who had asked the question, and “I told him that while Civil Unions have the same rights as marriage, the ministry is looking at the law so that we can eventually present a marriage equality act in Cabinet. “

She criticised the PN for saying this was a diversionary tactic. “This is a ridiculous statement.”

“How can the Prime Minister know what this Turkish delegate was going to ask. The Opposition does not know what it is doing. I didn’t want to believe the statement when I read it. There are videos showing the delegate asking the question. It is not acceptable that the PN use a section of the population like this. “

“I am pleased they agree with us on policies, but don’t come, after turning your back on this section of society for years, and call the announcement a diversion. I have never seen such hatred. We are talking about families.”

This story originaly broke on Lovin' Malta, after it attended the event where the news broke. 

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