Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 00:01 by Jonathan Brimmer, Communications Coordinator, Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, Valletta
The Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties points out that assertions made by Rev. Prof. Paul Galea in the article “Parents’ Sexual Orientation” (January 23) may mislead the public in the debate on civil union legislation. Unlike what Prof. Galea assumes, Minister Helena Dalli did not quote any studies during her interview with Philip Leone-Ganado of the Sunday Circle, and hence his attribution of such references to the minister is incorrect. The studies Prof. Galea refers to were mentioned by the interviewer, as can be seen from the write-up.
Prof. Galea subsequently built his article exclusively on one of the research papers referred to by the Sunday Circle author (albeit the fact that the article in question is ‘dated’ as he admitted), and attempted to indicate that there is not enough research to back the provisions around parenting in the Civil Unions Bill.
Prof. Galea, however, overlooked the fact that since 2001 (the year of publication of the referenced article) the body of research on same-sex parenting has grown exponentially and continues to confirm that there is no reason for the State to deny same-sex couples the ability to be considered as prospective parents. Besides, in the same year of publication of the quoted article, the Netherlands was the only country allowing same-sex couples to apply for the adoption of children. Since then, 11 other European countries followed suit and have introduced similar legislation. Not one country has reverted its decision.
Prof. Galea again makes the wrong assumption when he concludes that “the research on child-ren is not clear and convincing enough to base public policy on, one way or the other”. Public policy in this area was not based on the research mentioned by the Sunday Circle interviewer.
Namely Sweden (2002); Germany (2004); Spain (2005); United Kingdom (2005 onwards); Belgium and Iceland (2006); Norway (2009); Denmark (2010); Finland (2011); France and Austria (2013).