The Malta Independent 18 August 2017, Friday

‘It’s time to move forward,’ Vassallo says, after PN decides not to punish him on gay marriage vote

Gabriel Schembri Sunday, 13 August 2017, 07:00 Last update: about 4 days ago

The Nationalist MP who decided to vote against the Marriage Equality Bill and who ignored the party’s whip’s direction, Edwin Vassallo, believes that is it now time to move forward.

Vassallo, a veteran PN MP, said that he voted against the Bill with a clean conscience and that he does not regret taking this decision.

He was speaking to The Malta Independent after the Nationalist Party announced that its executive had, on a proposal by outgoing leader Simon Busuttil, decided not to take action against him.

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Vassallo said: “I still believe that what I did was right. But, as the PN leader said in his statement, it is now time to move forward.” 

Citing Christians values which serve as foundations for his politics, Edwin Vassallo was the first and only MP during the Marriage Equality Bill debate in Parliament, to openly declare that he would be voting against the Bill. His declaration was made even after the outgoing Leader of the Opposition Simon Busuttil said that the Opposition will unanimously vote in favour of the vote. Meanwhile there were multiple reports suggesting a number of PN MPs were asking for a free vote as they did not agree on the way the bill removed the terms 'mother' and 'father' from the law.

Vassallo had said that same sex marriage in Malta was already given through the Civil Union bill. "I did my research. It clearly states that it is marriage under a different name."

"I will vote against, because no party has the mandate to introduce this bill. We are speaking about a truck, but the content is about a motorcycle. Joseph Muscat has raped the definitions in our constitution," he argued.

The second reading of the bill made through parliament with Vassallo standing his ground and voting against.

 

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