Tuesday, 18 June 2013, 19:58
The Prime Minister being presented with the 'Soldier Award' for his endeavours to bring greater awareness about minority rights
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat this afternoon announced that government intends to legislate in favour of civil unions by the end of the year.
Dr Muscat said this during a meeting with the LGBT community at Castille on the occasion of Pride Week 2013. He said that the bill will be drafted by the consultative committee set up recently.
The prime minister said that he is proud that this government is giving priority to civil liberties, and is committed to create a society built on diversity which respects the free choices of the individual.
He recounted how upon taking office, the new administration reached an out of court settlement with Joanne Cassar, who has now been granted the right to marry. Dr Muscat pledged to abide by the Labour manifesto which sought to give greater importance to minority rights.
During the meeting, the prime minister was awarded the ‘Soldier Award’ for his effort to be an ‘agent of change’, by social group Gay Exiles. This group represents all those who had to emigrate in order to be able to live with their same-sex partner.
Dr Muscat was lauded as the first ever prime minister to openly embrace the gay community and serve as a catalyst for change.
Malta Gay Rights Movement President Gaby Calleja remarked that Dr Muscat endeavoured to bring a change of mentality whilst welcoming steps to give equal rights to gay people.