Saturday, 19 April 2014

Malta Today: Majority believe civil unions law should have been subject to wider debate due to adoption clause

54% of online poll respondents say government’s lack of mandate to implement gay adoption should have led to wider debate on civil unions’ law.
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/38136/majority_believe_civil_unions_law_should_have_been_subject_to_wider_debate_due_to_adoption_clause
18 April 2014, 7:35am by a Staff Reporter


40% of respondents say civil unions’ act was an electoral pledge that had to go through the proper legislative process.



The latest MaltaToday online poll shows that the majority of respondents believe that that the Civil Unions’ Act, which on Thursday was signed into law, should have been subjected to wider debate because it includes gay adoption.

On Monday, parliament approved the civil unions’ act and the proposal allowing gay couples to adopt. Heralding the newly-approved law, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the government is proud “to be on the right side of history” and of voting in favour of the law - despite its adoption clause.

Malta Today: Ugandan men face life imprisonment over homosexuality charges

Two Ugandan men face life imprisonment if found guilty of homosexuality, the first case since controversial anti-gay law was introduced in February.
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/world/38134/ugandan_men_face_life_imprisonment_over_homosexuality_charges#.U1KpF1WSy-k

17 April 2014, 7:33pm by a Staff Reporter


Enacted in February, the controversial anti-gay law has drawn widespread criticism by Western donors, only to be rebuffed by Uganda president Yoweri Museveni.

Two Ugandan men will go on trial next month accused of homosexuality, the first people to be charged since the introduction of a controversial new anti-gay law.

In February, Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni signed the anti-gay law. It punishes first-time offenders with 14 years in jail and allows life imprisonment as the penalty for acts of "aggravated homosexuality".

Friday, 18 April 2014

Malta Government Gazzette: 19,239; Government Notice: 388: PUBLICATION OF ACTS

17th April 2014, [View pdf, Back-up]



GOVERNMENT NOTICES
No. 388


PUBLICATION OF ACTS
IN SUPPLEMENT

IT is notified for general information that the following 
Acts are published in the Supplement to this Gazette:

Act No. IX of 2014 entitled the Civil Unions Act, 2014; 

and

Act No. X of 2014 entitled the Constitution of Malta 
(Amendment) Act, 2014.

17th April, 2014

[The Supplement will be posted once it is added to the online repository
It should be entitled Government Gazette - 17 April 2014 extra]

Malta Today: President signs Civil Unions Act into law

Civil Unions Act published in the government gazette three days after it was approved by parliament.
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/38129/president_signs_civil_unions_act_into_law#.U1FGJVWSy-l
17 April 2014, 5:08pm by a Staff Reporter


Photo Ray Attard

President of the Republic Marie Louise Coleiro Preca has signed the Civil Unions Act into law.

The Act was published in today’s government gazette, three days after it was approved by parliament.

The vote on civil unions was taken on Monday, believed to have been purposely delayed after George Abela’s refusal to sign it during his term as President.

The civil unions law was approved in parliament with 37 votes in favour and 30 abstentions. No votes against were cast.

Malta Today: A toast to the queers!

http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/comment/blogs/38082/a_toast_to_the_queers#.U1FD5VWSy-k
17.4.2014 by Joseph Carmel Chetcuti

Amending constitutions and putting the onus on homosexuals to enforce their rights, often at huge cost and uncertainty of outcome, is no longer good enough. What Malta’s gay men and lesbians have been calling for are rights without the need to turn to expensive litigation.



From far away North Carlton in the State of Victoria, while sipping a cup of coffee and getting through a few slices of toasted bread with vegemite, I watched with interest developments back in Malta. So much had changed since 15 February 1995 when I appeared on Pjazza Tlieta and, to my surprise, I became not only the first out-and-proud Maltese professional to come out on the Maltese media but also the first to take on publicly a representative of the Catholic Church. Nineteen years later, Malta’s gay men and lesbians looked more self-assured and less prepared to play the victim.

There is no doubt that the 14 April 2014 will go down in history as the most momentous event in the struggle of Malta’s gay men and lesbians for equality. It was a momentous day, not only because the country’s parliament amended the constitution by way of acknowledging sexual orientation and gender identity or because it passed the Civil Unions Bill but, more importantly, because countless gay men, lesbians and supporters found the courage to come out in great numbers to celebrate the event.

Malta Today: Making (and missing) history

By abstaining in Monday’s vote, the PN projected the image of a static party which is simply too afraid to take a step in either direction

http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/comment/editorial/38072/making_and_missing_history#.U1FD4VWSy-k
16 April 2014, 12:14pm



The vote taken in parliament on Monday to approve a civil unions’ bill – which (among many other things) controversially permits same-sex couples the right to adopt children – was historic in many respects.

Certainly, the issue at the heart of this legislation has done more to capture the popular imagination that virtually any other recent political development, both among those who welcomed the law, and those who opposed it. This much was evident in the euphoric celebrations that followed parliamentary vote on St George’s Square, Valletta… and also in the protest staged against the civil unions bill the preceding week.

Emotions have run deep on either side of the divide, and regardless of where one stands on the issue, Monday’s vote undeniably tapped into the collective subconscious of an entire population, in a way that ordinary legislation rarely manages to do.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Church in Malta: A statement by the Bishops on the Civil Unions Law [English/Malti]

http://thechurchinmalta.org/en/posts/38400/a-statement-by-the-bishops-on-the-civil-unions-law
COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE / WEDNESDAY 16 APRIL 2014

  • With the Maltese Parliament having approved the law regulating civil unions and adoptions by same-sex couples, while wishing that the discussion continues with due respect to every person, irrespective of his/her sexual orientation and choices made, we as Bishops of Malta and Gozo feel we can convey the following:
    1. Notwithstanding the changes we are going through, our society should strive to keep cherishing and giving preference to the natural family, built upon marriage between a man and a woman. This family, were the father and mother, driven by genuine love, bring life to the world and with love and sacrifice bring up and educate their children, is an indispensable resource to the Nation. If this family is done away with, we would have wounded humanity. Recently, Pope Francis himself said in no uncertain terms that “in the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another”[1].

Times: We had no choice but to abstain - Simon Busuttil

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140417/local/we-had-no-choice-but-to-abstain-simon-busuttil.515309
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 09:00 by Keith Micallef



Video: Darrin Zammit Lupi [Click on the hyperlink above to watch the video.]

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil is insisting that the decision to abstain on the Civil Unions Bill was the only available option in the circumstances and refutes the charge that the PN was not bold enough to take a stand.

In an interview with Times of Malta in the wake of last Monday’s historic vote, Dr Busuttil argued that the Opposition did take a position, contrary to what has been claimed by many, as it gave a detailed explanation prior to the vote.

[Note: This is a Times Premium article. The remainder of the article can be viewed against payment at timesofmalta.com]

L-Orizzont: Editorjal: Darb’oħra fl-istorja

16.4.2014

JUM storiku ieħor kien dak tal-bieraħtlula. Wieħed minn dawk li se jibqa’ mfakkar minn issa ’l quddiem, flimkien m’oħrajn li seħħew f’din l-istess l-ewwel sena ta’ Gvern ġdid Laburista, u oħrajn minn għexieren ta’ snin ilu li Gvernijiet Laburisti preċedenti mexxew u daħħlu b’kuraġġ kbir fil-mixja ’l quddiem ta’ dan il-poplu żgħir. Bħall-ħamsinijiet u s-sebgħinijiet partikolarment, l-approvazzjoni Parlamentari favur il-Liġi tal-Unjoni Ċivili nhar it-Tnejn li għadda ma fissret xejn inqas minn hekk. Għal sezzjoni mdaqqsa fis-soċjetà tagħna, anke jekk tinsab f’minoranza, is-seduta fil-Kamra tad-Deputati fil-bidu ta’ din il-ġimgħa fissret litteralment il-bidu ta’ ħajja ġdida. Issa ma baqgħetx aktar biss it-tama ħierġa minn fjamma tnemnem ta’ xemgħa li tista’ tagħti ftit wens f’kamra li minn dejjem kienet mudlama, iżda ġie espost post fejn tneħħew il-purtieri tqal u ħoxnin li kienu laħqu saru aktar minn għamara u nfetħu beraħ twieqi u aperturi oħrajn li għal żmien twil – u anke żżejjed – kienu qegħdin jifgaw soċjetà jew parti minnha. Radd ta’ ħajr speċjali jrid imur lill-Ministru Dr Helena Dalli, li f’din l-aħħar sena kienet responsabbli, fost oħrajn, għal-Libertajiet Ċivili. F’perjodu relattivament qasir ħidmietha reġgħet ħalliet marka oħra fonda għall-ġid tagħna u l-familji tagħna mil-lum ’il quddiem. Bl-istess tifsira “mlewna” mill-Prim Ministru Dr Joseph Muscat innifsu, nhar it-Tnejn intagħżel l-imgħoddi mill-ġejjieni u anke l-kliem mill-fatti.

Independent: ‘I wanted PN to vote in favour of civil unions, gay adoptions’– Claudette Buttigieg

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2014-04-17/news/i-wanted-pn-to-votein-favour-of-civil-unions-gay-adoptions-claudette-buttigieg-4657479684/
Thursday, 17 April 2014, 08:30 , by Neil Camilleri

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYrRJLr0gEw


PN MP and party spokesperson on Civil Liberties Claudette Buttigieg tried to convince her fellow Nationalist MPs to vote in favour of the Civil Unions Bill during the various parliamentary group meetings. Speaking to The Malta Independent yesterday, Ms Buttigieg said that, like many other MPs she shared her opinion during the various PN Parliamentary Group meetings on the controversial law, but in the end it was decided that the best option for the party was to abstain.

“I was one of those who tried to convince the other MPs to vote in favour. Others were against. We debated it for hours, in a number of sessions. In the end we compromised and remained united. I am part of a team and I cannot act as an individual.”


Malta Today: Transgender Europe applauds Malta for naming gender identity

Malta with the first Constitution in Europe to name gender identity.
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/38027/transgender_europe_applauds_malta_for_naming_gender_identity#.U0-ImVWSy-k
15 April 2014, 1:29pm by Miriam Dalli



Malta has become the first European state to have gender identity in its constitution following the proposed amendment that was approved yesterday evening in parliament.

The news has reached foreign shores and Transgender Europe (TGEU) was among the first NGOs to laud Malta for including gender identity as a protected ground in its highest legal text.

Indepedent: New video: Gays 'celebrating equality'in Valletta; PM cheered, Opposition booed

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2014-04-14/news/gays-prepare-to-celebrate-equality-4624908289/

Monday, 14 April 2014, 19:47, UPDATE 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ys2wdXWgNl0



Gays and lesbians are gathering in St George's Square in Valletta as Parliament is to vote in favour of civil unions and gay adoptions.

Independent: Civil union has its good points; but not in best interest of child - Bishop Scicluna

http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2014-04-14/news/civil-union-has-its-good-points-but-not-in-best-interest-of-child-bishop-scicluna-4627038208/
Monday, 14 April 2014, 15:54



Bishop Charles Scicluna said that while the civil unions’ bill has its good points, it does not provide for the best interest of the child.

Speaking to The Malta Independent hours before Parliament is due to vote on the civil unions bills, Mgr Scicluna said that he notes the new law submitted for the assent of the President of the Republic gives legal protection to same sex couples who want to share their lives together. This initiative has its good points, he admits.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Malta Right Now: Il-liġi tal-Unjoni Ċivili approvata mill-Parlament bl-ebda vot kontra

http://www.maltarightnow.com/?module=news&at=Il-li%26%23289%3Bi+tal-Unjoni+%26%23266%3Bivili+approvata+mill-Parlament+bl-ebda+vot+kontra&t=a&aid=99855726&cid=19
L-Oppożizzjoni hija favur l-Unjoni Ċivili imma għandha riżervi dwar adozzjoni minn koppji gay
14 t' April, 2014 21:42 CET

AĠĠORNATA

Il-Parlament approva l-liġi tal-Unjoni Ċivili li permezz tagħha koppji tal-istess jistgħu jaddottaw it-tfal. Il-liġi għaddiet b'37 vot favur, ebda vot kontra u 30 astenzjoni.



Dan wara li aktar kmieni qabel il-vot l-Oppożizzjoni ddikjarat li kienet se tastjeni minħabba li filwaqt li kienet taqbel mal-liġi tal-Unjoni Ċivili, għandha riservi dwar l-adozzjoni tat-tfal.

Il-Gvern ma kellux jgħaqqad dawn iż-żewġ aspetti flimkien, sostna l-Kap tal-Oppozizjzoni Simon Busuttil.

B'mod unanimu, il-Parlament approva wkoll emenda kostituzzjonali mressqa mid-Deputat Nazzjonalista Claudette Buttigieg biex ma ssirx diskriminazzjoni fuq orjentazzjoni sesswali fis-soċjeta'.

Aktar kmieni...

Parliament: Civil Unions Bill & Amendment to the Constitution [Final Votes]

14.04.2014, Parliamentary Sitting 141, 12th Legislature

[Excerpt of the Audio Recording] [Complete Audio Recording].

Parliament voted for the introduction of Civil Unions in Malta
Bill [20/2014] - 37 votes in favour, 30 absentions, 0 votes against
http://www.parlament.mt/sittingdetails?sid=4650&legcat=13&forcat=12

Parliament voted for Constitutional Amendment [Sexual Orientation] in Malta
Bill [18/2014] - 67 votes in favour, 0 abstentions

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ORDNIJIET TAL-ĠURNATA

Abbozz ta’ Liġi dwar l-Unjonijiet Ċivili – Abbozz Nru 20 – Tielet Qari – Ministru għad-Djalogu Soċjali, Affarijiet tal-Konsumatur u Libertajiet Ċivili.

Abbozz ta’ Liġi li jemenda l-Kostituzzjoni ta’ Malta – Abbozz Nru 18 – Tielet Qari – Onor. Claudette Buttigieg.

iNews Malta: Dirett: Il-Liġi tal-Unjoni Ċivili saret realtà

http://www.inewsmalta.com/dart/20140414-dirett-il-li-tal-unjoni-ivili-saret-realt
22:33 | 14.04.2014


Reuters: Malta legalizes gay partnerships and adoption

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/04/14/us-malta-gays-idUKBREA3D1OS20140414
VALLETTA Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:40pm BST





Gay rights activists jeer at opposition members of parliament, who abstained during a vote to recognise same-sex partnerships, in Valletta April 14, 2014.

CREDIT: REUTERS/DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI

(Reuters) - The Maltese parliament approved a law late on Monday to recognise same-sex partnerships on a legal par with marriage, including allowing gay couples to adopt.

Deutsche Welle: Catholic Malta legalizes same-sex civil unions

http://www.dw.de/catholic-malta-legalizes-same-sex-civil-unions/a-17567045
15.4.2014

Staunchly Catholic Malta has legalized same-sex civil unions and has given gay couples the right to adopt children. The vote comes nearly three years after the Mediterranean island nation legalized divorce.


The Maltese parliament legalized same-sex unions and gay adoption on Monday in a 37-0 vote, signaling a major change in social policy for a conservative country where Catholicism is the state religion.

"Malta is now more liberal and more European, and it has given equality to all its people," Labour Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.

The opposition Nationalist Party abstained from the vote, saying that although it supports civil unions, it has doubts about adoption rights for gay couples.

Pink News: Malta: Parliament approves civil unions and adoption for gay couples

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/04/14/malta-parliament-approves-civil-unions-and-adoption-for-gay-couples/
14th April 2014, 8:47 PM by Joseph Patrick McCormick

Malta passed civil unions

14 reader comments

Same-sex civil unions were this evening approved in Malta, allowing gay couples to adopt.

Over a thousand people who had gathered in Palace Square outside Parliament cheered as the bill passed.

The Opposition abstained from the vote which saw 37 votes for, and 30 abstentions.

Times: Editorial: PN has chosen the worst option

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140415/editorial/editorial-pn-has-chosen-the-worst-option.515022#
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 09:30

The Nationalist Party could have voted against the Civil Unions Bill last night. Or voted in favour. Or given its MPs a free vote. It did none of these things; it instead chose to take the worst possible route: abstention.

Let’s take the options one by one. Voting against would have given the PN the opportunity to explain why.

The most controversial aspect of this Bill is not its marriage-in-all-but-name effect – even though that is a step which even a number of advanced countries have so far shied away from – but the State endorsing the facility for gay couples to adopt children.