Monday, 3 September 2012

Times: Updated - Labour says government is homophobic
Thursday, August 30, 2012, 14:37

The Labour Party said today that the declaration by Justice Minister Chris Said that gay couples could not be considered as being a family confirmed the 'institutional homophobia' of the government.

Labour leader Joseph Muscat said such a declaration was unacceptable as the government was thus institutionalising homophobia. If the prime minister agreed with Dr Said, he would be confirming that the government was homophobic. If he didn't, he should warn Dr Said.

For the PL a family was formed irrespective of the sexual orientation of the persons involved, Dr Muscat said.

In a reaction, the Ministry of Justice said the PL was taking Dr Said’s statement out of context in an attempt to score political points.

The ministry said that Dr Said had not made homophobic statements in his press conference on Tuesday, during the launching of the Cohabitation Bill. When he was asked about the bill, Dr Said said that in the context of this Bill, gay couples were not considered as a married couple.

For Dr Said, the personal relationship between different persons was something precious. He appreciated that for those living this experience, this was the nucleus of a family, even if they were not married, the ministry said.

It added that Dr Muscat should know that Maltese law did not include a definition of the family but defined what constituted a marriage.

The Cohabitation Bill did not go into this issue but regulated cohabitation, both between heterosexuals and gays. The Bill, for the first time, established the duties of persons who cohabited.

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