Sunday, 17 July 2011

Independent: AD urges parliament to legislate for cohabitation and civil unions

Article published on 10 July 2011 by Elaine Attard

Just before the annual Gay Pride March got underway in Valletta yesterday morning, Alternattiva Demokratika called on Parliament to legislate in the fields of cohabitation and civil unions.

AD is the only party with clear policies on both cohabitation and civil unions, AD Chairperson Michael Briguglio said.

On cohabitation, he said, the party believes that persons who live together for an established number of years should have rights and responsibilities towards each other. This is valid for various groups including those in a relationship as well as relatives such as siblings or parents and children.

Regarding civil unions, AD believes that same-sex couples should enjoy equal legal rights and not be discriminated against in social and family policies. "They should therefore have the right to enter into civil unions that entail equal mutual rights and responsibilities that married different-sex couples are entitled to. In both cases, several EU member states developed legislative models which Malta can adopt," Mr Brigiuglio said.

"AD is the only party that was on the right side of history twice during the EU referendum and the divorce referendum. We are going to be on the right side of history again with regard to cohabitation and civil unions," she said.

AD Deputy Chairperson and Spokesperson for Civil Rights, Yvonne Arqueros Ebejer said, "Malta is a signatory of the EU charter on the fundamental rights of the EU citizen, which is entrenched in the Lisbon Treaty and which prohibits discrimination on various grounds including sexual orientation, as clearly stated in article 21 of this same charter. This charter is a step forward and is a tool to protect the LGBT community in the 27 member states.

AD fully supports the struggle of LGBT persons against discrimination, and, contrary to the Nationalist Party and the Labour Party, we are the only political party in Malta that supports the proposed EU anti-discrimination directive, she said.

AD Spokesperson on Social Policy Angele Deguara added, "AD believes that social policy should aim at integrating everyone in society regardless of sex or sexual orientation. LGBT persons still face a number of difficulties in social life which are causing them unnecessary hardship. A modern, pluralistic society should not base its policies on one model of the family but should recognise different family forms and design policies which reflect this reality."

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