21.10.2013 by Dr Ing. Patrick Attard
A concise version of this article was published on the Times of Malta on the 26th October 2013:
I would like to thank the Minister for Civil Liberties and the LGBT Consultative Council for presenting such a courageous and elegant BIll. This Bill is truly historic since it even recognises marriages contracted abroad as such.
This is an enormous step forward for the Maltese LGBT Community and will not only affect the gay and lesbian couples who would like to formalise their relationship but it will have implications on others and restore the dignity of gay and lesbian individuals whose relationships will no longer be considered as dirty and illegitimate.
I hope that as time goes by, gay and lesbian youths are given the perspective that one day they can meet a special person and form a family with him or her. This will reduce destructive behaviours like suicidal tendencies, alcohol abuse, illicit substance abuse and irresponsible sexual practices.
I was also surprised by the measured and humane response in the joint statement issued by the Maltese Bishops who stressed that the Bill is "discussing persons and their lives" and a "profound respect towards those persons should follow". I hope that individual priests will abide to such a tone and won't open old wounds. We may disagree but I hope that we can live as cordial and respectful neighbours in a modern society.
I am also pleased that the Nationalist Party (I dislike the word Opposition) presented a Bill to amend the Constitution to protect citizens from discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation.
The introduction of Civil Unions will create a fairer society where individual citizens feel more valued and will in turn contribute more.
I understand that some people may feel threatened but no harm will ensue by recognising such unions. This is only about two people who love each other, care for one another and want to grow old together.
I hope that once the parliamentary debate on the Civil Union Bill unfolds a great majority of our MPs will vote in favour. We will be making history not only at a national level but at a geographical level too.
Malta Gay News Library: http://patrickattard.blogspot.com