The Malta Independent 10 April 2020, Friday

Muscat questions principles of MPs who are against gay marriage but will vote in favour

Saturday, 8 July 2017, 10:27 Last update: about 4 years ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat this morning said he could understand MPs who argued against the introduction of gay marriage, even if they did so because they were misinformed, but could not understand those who were against it but would vote in favour.

“What kind of principles are these,” he asked, when speaking during a short phone-in on One Radio.

The PM was making an apparent reference to PN PM Edwin Vassallo, who will reportedly be voting in favour of the law in its third reading, despite his disagreement with the law as proposed.  

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“I was shocked by certain attitudes in Parliament. I understand those who are arguing against this law because they are doing so in a genuine way, but this is because they have not understood the argument. They are one a different wavelength.”

Muscat said the PN was still at the level of tolerance. “But we are not at the level of tolerance, but at the level of acceptance and celebration.”

He criticised the PN over the opposing arguments being made by its MPs, and insisted that the Opposition’s amendments would lead to inequality through segregation. The PN has taken exception with the changes that remove the words mother and father, husband and wife from the law, making it gender neutral. It wants to keep these terms while adding the gender neutral terms as well. The amendments have been shot down by the government.

Muscat said Malta would be making history on Wednesday and the entire world would be looking at us. “MPs should be proud of how they vote, no matter how they vote,” he said.  

The prime minister said the Opposition could not hold back change. “If they try to do this it means they have not understood how much our society has changed. We saw this during the divorce debate, then in the debate on the Morning After Pill. If we do not realise there is change, society itself would have forced this change, it will not wait for us.”

Muscat also spoke about the latest economic result, with the government having registered a €44 million surplus in the first quarter of the year.

He also spoke about the PL Deputy Leader election next week. “We have three excellent candidates. I am certain that the two who do not make it will remain an integral part of my cabinet. They are all good ministers. The chosen person will have added responsibilities, including coordination of parliamentary affairs.” 

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