Sunday, 17 July 2011

Times: Candidates' stand on same-sex couples
Saturday, July 16, 2011 , by Gabi Calleja, coordinator, Malta Gay Rights Movement, Mosta

While it may come as a surprise to Austin Gatt, the Malta Gay Rights Movement, prior to the last two elections, had already asked political parties as well as individual candidates to state their position on the legal recognition of same-sex couples. The replies received were compiled, sent out to members, posted on our website and circulated as widely as possible.

The Nationalist Party has to this day always preferred to submit a party position rather than allow for individual candidates to declare themselves. It seems that Dr Gatt now disagrees with his own party's practices.

What is abundantly clear is that Dr Gatt is out of touch with modern civil rights trends and standards. The number of countries introducing marriage equality is slowly but surely increasing with 20 out of the 47 Council of Europe member states having marriage equality or some form of registered partnership for same-sex couples. It is interesting to note that the countries with the most advanced civil rights legislation worldwide, including marriage equality, are actually the countries that are doing best economically and the ones that are rated as those where most people would prefer to live. It would seem that respect for minority rights, a sense of well-being and economic prosperity tend to go together.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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