Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Times: No one has right to adopt

Monday, April 28, 2014, 00:01 by Helena Dalli

Former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi re-entered the political fray last Tuesday. This, to tell us that children have a right to be adopted by the best possible parents, and that it is not the right of the parents to adopt.

Agreed. That is what the government has been saying all along. There is no such thing as the right to adopt a child.

Dr Gonzi then goes on to say that the civil union law purports the right for gay couples to adopt children. Wrong. The law establishes the principle of equality and thus equal rights for same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. It follows that when prospective adoptive parents are scrutinised by the adoptions board, their application is judged with the best interest of the child in mind, irrespective of the parents’ sexual orientation.

Malta Today: Letters: 27th April 2014

28 April 2014, 8:21am [Other letters which are not related to the subject have not been posted in this blog.]

On diverse MPs' views

by Ramon Casha, Qormi

On Monday 14 April I went to Valletta, together with people from all walks of life, gay and straight, to witness a wonderful moment in our country’s history, when two bills were enacted in parliament to place homosexual citizens on the same level as everyone else.

First, the civil unions bill, giving same-sex couples in a committed relationship the ability to have their union registered and recognised by the state, with the same rights and obligations as marriage. In fact it’s a pity that it wasn’t called by its proper name – marriage – but I hope that this unnecessary distinction will be removed in the not too distant future.

Times: A moment of happiness

Sunday, April 27, 2014, 00:01 by Ramon Casha, Qormi

On April 14, I went to Valletta, together with people from all walks of life, gay and straight, to witness a wonderful moment in our country’s history, when a Bill and a constitutional amendment were enacted in Parliament to place homosexual citizens on the same level as everyone else.

First, the Civil Unions Bill, giving same-sex couples in a committed relationship the ability to have their union registered and recognised by the State, with the same rights and obligations as marriage. In fact it is a pity that it wasn’t called by its proper name – marriage – but I hope that this unnecessary distinction will be removed in the not too distant future.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Malta Today: Interview: Fairness above all | Ray Calleja

Actor and television presenter Ray Calleja speaks in the wake of the passing of the civil unions bill. While emotional about this landmark development, he’s also keen to emphasise that fairness is ultimately what matters
23 April 2014, 8:50am by 23 April 2014, 8:50amTeodor Reljic

Ray Calleja compering at the civil unions celebrations in Valletta. Photos: Ray Attard

I had a feeling that actor and television personality Ray Calleja would be easy to speak to, owing to the fact that he’s a seasoned television personality who’s well aware of how the media game works.

But he – arguably – turned out to be the easiest person I’ve even interviewed, for reasons I wouldn’t have entirely expected.

Sitting down for our interview, he politely asks a potentially brusque question: “So, erm, just to be clear… what’s the… ‘agenda’?”

Times: Church wise in holding back

Thursday, April 24, 2014, 00:01 by Amabile Galea, Balzan

Archbishop Paul Cremona and Bishop Charles Scicluna.

A controversy almost similar to our Civil Union-cum-adoption Bill is raging in the UK. A number of prominent Catholic members of the House of Commons, including former Tory leader and current Cabinet member Iain Duncan Smith and his cabinet colleague Patrick McLoughlin, voted in favour of the same-sex union legislation.

Christopher Lamb in The Tablet of April 5 reported that Philip Egan, the Bishop of Portsmouth “said that these politicians should be denied the Eucharist”, following which the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales told Catholic parliamentarians they would not be refused Communion if they voted in favour of same-sex unions.

Malta Today: Platform for human rights organizations launched

Provides national forum to develop values of human dignity and equality
23 April 2014, 3:53pm by James J. Piscopo

The Platform of Human Rights Organisations in Malta (PHROM) was launched today.

It consists of five NGOs each operating in different areas of the safeguarding and promotion of human rights, namely the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM), Din l-ArtĦelwa, Aditus, Richmond Foundation and Victim Support Malta.

On behalf of PHROM, human rights lawyer Neil Falzon said that its mission was to provide a national forum for human rights organisations to develop more effectively the values of human dignity and equality.

Malta Today: The silence of the lambs

Is the Church’s measured response to the introduction of civil unions and gay adoptions a recognition of boundaries between State and Church, or a sign of weakness after the divorce debacle?
23 April 2014, 8:50am by James Debono

The Maltese Catholic archdiocese’s reaction to the introduction of civil unions came in the form of a measured statement just two days after MPs made it gay unions law: Paul Cremona and bishops Mario Grech and Charles Scicluna reiterated their belief in the “natural family” built on the marriage of man and woman, and that children should have the right to be brought up by a father and a mother.

Bar a few incursions from Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna, the church kept a low profile during the debate on civil unions in Malta, a position contrasted by the vocal protests of Catholic lay groups in France earlier this year against the introduction of a gay marriage law.

Times: Pontius Pilate politics

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 00:01 by Leo Brincat
The past few days were characterised by two interesting developments that marked the high and low of local politics. On one hand we had the historical, ground-breaking parliamentary vote on the Civil Union Bill. On the other hand we also had the publication of the damning National Audit Office report of a series of procurement irregularities and bad practices that prevailed during the 2006-2012 period within Wasteserv under a Nationalist administration.
What I found worrying indeed is that in both instances the Opposition party chose to resort to Pontius Pilate politics by washing their hands of any responsibility and reacting in such a manner that many, including the independent media, found to be incomprehensible to say the least.

Malta Today: Gay lobby – Gonzi ‘anything but defender of child’s best interests’

‘The problem is not the Civil Union Act but the firmly entrenched belief that the best interest of the child can only be met by heterosexual family models’ – MGRM
22 April 2014, 1:38pm by Miriam Dalli

MGRM coordinator Gabi Calleja

The problem is not the Civil Union Act but the firmly entrenched belief that only heterosexual couples can safeguard the children’s best interests, the Malta Gay Rights Movement said.

The LGBTI community was replying to an opinion penned by former Nationalist prime minister Lawrence Gonzi, who broke the silence and came out in defence of Opposition leader Simon Busuttil’s stance to abstain on a civil unions bill that accorded the right to same-sex couples in a union, to adopt children.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

It-Torċa: Wara li kienet approvata l-liġi tal-Unjoni ċivili… kull ċittadin Malti goeandu jkun trattat l-istess mill-istat


Il-liġi tal-Unjoni Ċivili kienet importanti li tiddaħħal fis-seħħ għax kuntrarju għal-liġijiet kontra d-diskriminazzjoni u liġijiet kontra reati omofobiċi u transfobiċi, din il-liġi mhux qed tiġġieled kontra d-diskriminazzjoni imma qed tafferma l-ugwaljanza. Jiġifieri qed tafferma li kull Malti u kull Maltija ħaqqha li tkun trattata indaqs mill-istat, xejn iżjed u xejn anqas.

Dan qalu Silvan Agius, gradwat fid-drittijiet umani u d-demokrazija. Ikkuntattjat mit-TORĊA dwar l-introduzzjoni tal-liġi tal-Unjoni Ċivili, Agius qal li fix-xhur li ġejjin, din il-liġi se twassal għall-bidla fil-kultura. “In-nies se jifhmu li l-omosesswali huma parti mill-istess fibra tas-soċjetà li jgħixu fiha. Dan diġà ntwera f’soċjetajiet oħra li ntroduċew liġijiet simili,” qal Agius.

Mistoqsi jaħsibx li pajjiżna dam biex introduċa din il-liġi, huwa qal li d-dewmien huwa xi ħaġa relattiva. Kompla jgħid: “Id-Danimarka introduċiet l-Unjoni Ċivili għall-koppji tal-istess sess fl-1989 u għaldaqstant nistgħu ngħidu li Malta damet biex tintroduċi din il-liġi. Madankollu, hemm pajjiżi bħall-Italja u l-Greċja li m’għandhomx liġi simili. F’dan is-sens qegħdin ‘qabel’ il-pajjiżi ġirien tagħna.”

Agius qal li hu rimarkabbli fil-liġi Maltija hu, li din hi l-aktar forma ta’ unjoni ċivili li tagħti rikonoxximent lill-koppji li jidħlu fiha, kemm jekk huma tal-istess sess u jekk huma ta’ sess differenti.

Mistoqsi dwar x’jinvolvi l-proċess biex żewġ persuni li jidħlu f’unjoni ċivili jikkonfermaw l-istat tagħhom li ħaduh barra l-pajjiż qabel, biex jidħlu f’unjoni ċivili f’pajjiżna, u li għad iridu jidħlu f’unjoni ċivili, x’bidla mistennija fid-dokumenti governattivi kif ukoll dwar il-proċess għall-adozzjoni, Agius ħass li dawn il-mistoqsijiethuma iktar ta’ natura li jistgħu jkunu risposti mill-ministeru jew minn avukat.

All Out: Two Minutes to Say Goodbye

"I told Richard I loved him. He died the next day. I wasn't allowed to be there."
 - Roberto, Peru

Call on President Humala to support the civil unions before the vote on Tuesday and protect LGBT people in Peru:
Richard and I lived together for 3 years and were really happy and deeply in love. One day, he complained about his neck and was soon hospitalized.
They banned me from seeing him. They said I didn't count as family. I was able to sneak into his room for only two minutes. Enough time to hold his hand and tell him that I loved him. He died the next day. I wasn’t allowed to be there.
This happened because we were a gay couple in Peru and there’s no law to protect us. But, next Tuesday there's a vote to decide whether families like mine can be protected with civil unions.
The vote's going to be close but the President's voice could change everything. Will you join me in asking President Humala to publicly support civil unions so that no one else faces what Richard and I did?
Unlike our neighbours, Peru is far behind in recognising basic rights for lesbian, gay, bi and transgender people. This new law is a unique chance to start helping families like mine, who face so much discrimination and abuse every day because we're not protected.
During his Presidential campaign, Humala promised to launch a National Program against Homophobia and to push for a civil unions. But, since the debate started he's been silent, just like many other of the MPs from his party – even though more than 9,000 Peruvians in 6 cities just took to the streets to support civil unions on Saturday.

Malta Today: 'The Church has recognised its separation from the State' - Dalli

Civil liberties minister Helena Dalli says, after 25 years, gay families have the civil rights they have been waiting for
21 April 2014, 12:08pm by Miriam Dalli

The Church in Malta has recognised it division from the State, Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli said.

In an interview with MaltaToday on Sunday, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil accused the government of "silencing" the Church, which took a cautious stand during the debate of the Civil Unions Bill before it was voted into law.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Independent: First Civil Unions expected by mid-June

Sunday, 20 April 2014, 11:00 , by Neil Camilleri

· Gay couples can apply for adoption as soon as Legal Notices are published · Only 14 countries worldwide allow gay adoptions

The first Civil Unions in Malta could come as early as mid-June after President Marie Louse Coleiro Preca signed the Bill on Wednesday.

Now that the controversial Bill has been signed, it will come into effect by means of Legal Notices that are expected to be published within the next couple of days.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Malta Today: Majority believe civil unions law should have been subject to wider debate due to adoption clause

54% of online poll respondents say government’s lack of mandate to implement gay adoption should have led to wider debate on civil unions’ law.
18 April 2014, 7:35am by a Staff Reporter

40% of respondents say civil unions’ act was an electoral pledge that had to go through the proper legislative process.

The latest MaltaToday online poll shows that the majority of respondents believe that that the Civil Unions’ Act, which on Thursday was signed into law, should have been subjected to wider debate because it includes gay adoption.

On Monday, parliament approved the civil unions’ act and the proposal allowing gay couples to adopt. Heralding the newly-approved law, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the government is proud “to be on the right side of history” and of voting in favour of the law - despite its adoption clause.

Malta Today: Ugandan men face life imprisonment over homosexuality charges

Two Ugandan men face life imprisonment if found guilty of homosexuality, the first case since controversial anti-gay law was introduced in February.

17 April 2014, 7:33pm by a Staff Reporter

Enacted in February, the controversial anti-gay law has drawn widespread criticism by Western donors, only to be rebuffed by Uganda president Yoweri Museveni.

Two Ugandan men will go on trial next month accused of homosexuality, the first people to be charged since the introduction of a controversial new anti-gay law.

In February, Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni signed the anti-gay law. It punishes first-time offenders with 14 years in jail and allows life imprisonment as the penalty for acts of "aggravated homosexuality".

Friday, 18 April 2014

Malta Government Gazzette: 19,239; Government Notice: 388: PUBLICATION OF ACTS

17th April 2014, [View pdf, Back-up]

No. 388


IT is notified for general information that the following 
Acts are published in the Supplement to this Gazette:

Act No. IX of 2014 entitled the Civil Unions Act, 2014; 


Act No. X of 2014 entitled the Constitution of Malta 
(Amendment) Act, 2014.

17th April, 2014

[The Supplement will be posted once it is added to the online repository
It should be entitled Government Gazette - 17 April 2014 extra]

Malta Today: President signs Civil Unions Act into law

Civil Unions Act published in the government gazette three days after it was approved by parliament.
17 April 2014, 5:08pm by a Staff Reporter

Photo Ray Attard

President of the Republic Marie Louise Coleiro Preca has signed the Civil Unions Act into law.

The Act was published in today’s government gazette, three days after it was approved by parliament.

The vote on civil unions was taken on Monday, believed to have been purposely delayed after George Abela’s refusal to sign it during his term as President.

The civil unions law was approved in parliament with 37 votes in favour and 30 abstentions. No votes against were cast.

Malta Today: A toast to the queers!

17.4.2014 by Joseph Carmel Chetcuti

Amending constitutions and putting the onus on homosexuals to enforce their rights, often at huge cost and uncertainty of outcome, is no longer good enough. What Malta’s gay men and lesbians have been calling for are rights without the need to turn to expensive litigation.

From far away North Carlton in the State of Victoria, while sipping a cup of coffee and getting through a few slices of toasted bread with vegemite, I watched with interest developments back in Malta. So much had changed since 15 February 1995 when I appeared on Pjazza Tlieta and, to my surprise, I became not only the first out-and-proud Maltese professional to come out on the Maltese media but also the first to take on publicly a representative of the Catholic Church. Nineteen years later, Malta’s gay men and lesbians looked more self-assured and less prepared to play the victim.

There is no doubt that the 14 April 2014 will go down in history as the most momentous event in the struggle of Malta’s gay men and lesbians for equality. It was a momentous day, not only because the country’s parliament amended the constitution by way of acknowledging sexual orientation and gender identity or because it passed the Civil Unions Bill but, more importantly, because countless gay men, lesbians and supporters found the courage to come out in great numbers to celebrate the event.

Malta Today: Making (and missing) history

By abstaining in Monday’s vote, the PN projected the image of a static party which is simply too afraid to take a step in either direction

16 April 2014, 12:14pm

The vote taken in parliament on Monday to approve a civil unions’ bill – which (among many other things) controversially permits same-sex couples the right to adopt children – was historic in many respects.

Certainly, the issue at the heart of this legislation has done more to capture the popular imagination that virtually any other recent political development, both among those who welcomed the law, and those who opposed it. This much was evident in the euphoric celebrations that followed parliamentary vote on St George’s Square, Valletta… and also in the protest staged against the civil unions bill the preceding week.

Emotions have run deep on either side of the divide, and regardless of where one stands on the issue, Monday’s vote undeniably tapped into the collective subconscious of an entire population, in a way that ordinary legislation rarely manages to do.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Church in Malta: A statement by the Bishops on the Civil Unions Law [English/Malti]


  • With the Maltese Parliament having approved the law regulating civil unions and adoptions by same-sex couples, while wishing that the discussion continues with due respect to every person, irrespective of his/her sexual orientation and choices made, we as Bishops of Malta and Gozo feel we can convey the following:
    1. Notwithstanding the changes we are going through, our society should strive to keep cherishing and giving preference to the natural family, built upon marriage between a man and a woman. This family, were the father and mother, driven by genuine love, bring life to the world and with love and sacrifice bring up and educate their children, is an indispensable resource to the Nation. If this family is done away with, we would have wounded humanity. Recently, Pope Francis himself said in no uncertain terms that “in the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another”[1].

Times: We had no choice but to abstain - Simon Busuttil

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 09:00 by Keith Micallef

Video: Darrin Zammit Lupi [Click on the hyperlink above to watch the video.]

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil is insisting that the decision to abstain on the Civil Unions Bill was the only available option in the circumstances and refutes the charge that the PN was not bold enough to take a stand.

In an interview with Times of Malta in the wake of last Monday’s historic vote, Dr Busuttil argued that the Opposition did take a position, contrary to what has been claimed by many, as it gave a detailed explanation prior to the vote.

[Note: This is a Times Premium article. The remainder of the article can be viewed against payment at timesofmalta.com]

L-Orizzont: Editorjal: Darb’oħra fl-istorja


JUM storiku ieħor kien dak tal-bieraħtlula. Wieħed minn dawk li se jibqa’ mfakkar minn issa ’l quddiem, flimkien m’oħrajn li seħħew f’din l-istess l-ewwel sena ta’ Gvern ġdid Laburista, u oħrajn minn għexieren ta’ snin ilu li Gvernijiet Laburisti preċedenti mexxew u daħħlu b’kuraġġ kbir fil-mixja ’l quddiem ta’ dan il-poplu żgħir. Bħall-ħamsinijiet u s-sebgħinijiet partikolarment, l-approvazzjoni Parlamentari favur il-Liġi tal-Unjoni Ċivili nhar it-Tnejn li għadda ma fissret xejn inqas minn hekk. Għal sezzjoni mdaqqsa fis-soċjetà tagħna, anke jekk tinsab f’minoranza, is-seduta fil-Kamra tad-Deputati fil-bidu ta’ din il-ġimgħa fissret litteralment il-bidu ta’ ħajja ġdida. Issa ma baqgħetx aktar biss it-tama ħierġa minn fjamma tnemnem ta’ xemgħa li tista’ tagħti ftit wens f’kamra li minn dejjem kienet mudlama, iżda ġie espost post fejn tneħħew il-purtieri tqal u ħoxnin li kienu laħqu saru aktar minn għamara u nfetħu beraħ twieqi u aperturi oħrajn li għal żmien twil – u anke żżejjed – kienu qegħdin jifgaw soċjetà jew parti minnha. Radd ta’ ħajr speċjali jrid imur lill-Ministru Dr Helena Dalli, li f’din l-aħħar sena kienet responsabbli, fost oħrajn, għal-Libertajiet Ċivili. F’perjodu relattivament qasir ħidmietha reġgħet ħalliet marka oħra fonda għall-ġid tagħna u l-familji tagħna mil-lum ’il quddiem. Bl-istess tifsira “mlewna” mill-Prim Ministru Dr Joseph Muscat innifsu, nhar it-Tnejn intagħżel l-imgħoddi mill-ġejjieni u anke l-kliem mill-fatti.

Independent: ‘I wanted PN to vote in favour of civil unions, gay adoptions’– Claudette Buttigieg

Thursday, 17 April 2014, 08:30 , by Neil Camilleri


PN MP and party spokesperson on Civil Liberties Claudette Buttigieg tried to convince her fellow Nationalist MPs to vote in favour of the Civil Unions Bill during the various parliamentary group meetings. Speaking to The Malta Independent yesterday, Ms Buttigieg said that, like many other MPs she shared her opinion during the various PN Parliamentary Group meetings on the controversial law, but in the end it was decided that the best option for the party was to abstain.

“I was one of those who tried to convince the other MPs to vote in favour. Others were against. We debated it for hours, in a number of sessions. In the end we compromised and remained united. I am part of a team and I cannot act as an individual.”

Malta Today: Transgender Europe applauds Malta for naming gender identity

Malta with the first Constitution in Europe to name gender identity.
15 April 2014, 1:29pm by Miriam Dalli

Malta has become the first European state to have gender identity in its constitution following the proposed amendment that was approved yesterday evening in parliament.

The news has reached foreign shores and Transgender Europe (TGEU) was among the first NGOs to laud Malta for including gender identity as a protected ground in its highest legal text.

Indepedent: New video: Gays 'celebrating equality'in Valletta; PM cheered, Opposition booed


Monday, 14 April 2014, 19:47, UPDATE 2


Gays and lesbians are gathering in St George's Square in Valletta as Parliament is to vote in favour of civil unions and gay adoptions.

Independent: Civil union has its good points; but not in best interest of child - Bishop Scicluna

Monday, 14 April 2014, 15:54

Bishop Charles Scicluna said that while the civil unions’ bill has its good points, it does not provide for the best interest of the child.

Speaking to The Malta Independent hours before Parliament is due to vote on the civil unions bills, Mgr Scicluna said that he notes the new law submitted for the assent of the President of the Republic gives legal protection to same sex couples who want to share their lives together. This initiative has its good points, he admits.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Malta Right Now: Il-liġi tal-Unjoni Ċivili approvata mill-Parlament bl-ebda vot kontra

L-Oppożizzjoni hija favur l-Unjoni Ċivili imma għandha riżervi dwar adozzjoni minn koppji gay
14 t' April, 2014 21:42 CET


Il-Parlament approva l-liġi tal-Unjoni Ċivili li permezz tagħha koppji tal-istess jistgħu jaddottaw it-tfal. Il-liġi għaddiet b'37 vot favur, ebda vot kontra u 30 astenzjoni.

Dan wara li aktar kmieni qabel il-vot l-Oppożizzjoni ddikjarat li kienet se tastjeni minħabba li filwaqt li kienet taqbel mal-liġi tal-Unjoni Ċivili, għandha riservi dwar l-adozzjoni tat-tfal.

Il-Gvern ma kellux jgħaqqad dawn iż-żewġ aspetti flimkien, sostna l-Kap tal-Oppozizjzoni Simon Busuttil.

B'mod unanimu, il-Parlament approva wkoll emenda kostituzzjonali mressqa mid-Deputat Nazzjonalista Claudette Buttigieg biex ma ssirx diskriminazzjoni fuq orjentazzjoni sesswali fis-soċjeta'.

Aktar kmieni...

Parliament: Civil Unions Bill & Amendment to the Constitution [Final Votes]

14.04.2014, Parliamentary Sitting 141, 12th Legislature

[Excerpt of the Audio Recording] [Complete Audio Recording].

Parliament voted for the introduction of Civil Unions in Malta
Bill [20/2014] - 37 votes in favour, 30 absentions, 0 votes against

Parliament voted for Constitutional Amendment [Sexual Orientation] in Malta
Bill [18/2014] - 67 votes in favour, 0 abstentions


Abbozz ta’ Liġi dwar l-Unjonijiet Ċivili – Abbozz Nru 20 – Tielet Qari – Ministru għad-Djalogu Soċjali, Affarijiet tal-Konsumatur u Libertajiet Ċivili.

Abbozz ta’ Liġi li jemenda l-Kostituzzjoni ta’ Malta – Abbozz Nru 18 – Tielet Qari – Onor. Claudette Buttigieg.

iNews Malta: Dirett: Il-Liġi tal-Unjoni Ċivili saret realtà

22:33 | 14.04.2014

Reuters: Malta legalizes gay partnerships and adoption

VALLETTA Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:40pm BST

Gay rights activists jeer at opposition members of parliament, who abstained during a vote to recognise same-sex partnerships, in Valletta April 14, 2014.


(Reuters) - The Maltese parliament approved a law late on Monday to recognise same-sex partnerships on a legal par with marriage, including allowing gay couples to adopt.

Deutsche Welle: Catholic Malta legalizes same-sex civil unions


Staunchly Catholic Malta has legalized same-sex civil unions and has given gay couples the right to adopt children. The vote comes nearly three years after the Mediterranean island nation legalized divorce.

The Maltese parliament legalized same-sex unions and gay adoption on Monday in a 37-0 vote, signaling a major change in social policy for a conservative country where Catholicism is the state religion.

"Malta is now more liberal and more European, and it has given equality to all its people," Labour Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.

The opposition Nationalist Party abstained from the vote, saying that although it supports civil unions, it has doubts about adoption rights for gay couples.

Pink News: Malta: Parliament approves civil unions and adoption for gay couples

14th April 2014, 8:47 PM by Joseph Patrick McCormick

Malta passed civil unions

14 reader comments

Same-sex civil unions were this evening approved in Malta, allowing gay couples to adopt.

Over a thousand people who had gathered in Palace Square outside Parliament cheered as the bill passed.

The Opposition abstained from the vote which saw 37 votes for, and 30 abstentions.

Times: Editorial: PN has chosen the worst option

Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 09:30

The Nationalist Party could have voted against the Civil Unions Bill last night. Or voted in favour. Or given its MPs a free vote. It did none of these things; it instead chose to take the worst possible route: abstention.

Let’s take the options one by one. Voting against would have given the PN the opportunity to explain why.

The most controversial aspect of this Bill is not its marriage-in-all-but-name effect – even though that is a step which even a number of advanced countries have so far shied away from – but the State endorsing the facility for gay couples to adopt children.

Times: Same sex unions approved - Celebrations in Valletta - Opposition abstains because of adoptions

Monday, April 14, 2014, 18:01

The controversial law on civil unions was approved by Parliament this evening amid loud cheers and celebrations by about 1,000 people who gathered on Palace Square.

The Opposition abstained.

The bill puts gay partnerships on a par with marriage.

Times: State of the gay union: shedding invisibility


Monday, April 14, 2014, 12:20 by Kurt Sansone

Gay families are invisible in the eyes of the law but their situation is expected to change radically when the Civil Unions Bill becomes law tonight.

The absolute lack of recognition of gay families was evident in last year’s index of gay rights compiled by Ilga-Europe, a gay advocacy group, which placed Malta at the bottom of the list along with seven European countries.

While Malta scored 35 out of 100 in the overall standings that analysed various gay rights and freedoms, the result was dragged down because the country registered no points at all on family-linked issues.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Times: Simon Busuttil confirms Opposition will abstain on civil unions bill because of adoptions concern

Monday, April 14, 2014, 18:01

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil confirmed this afternoon that the Opposition would abstain in this evening's final vote in Parliament on the Civil Unions Bill.

He said that although the Opposition agreed with civil unions, it had reservations regarding child adoptions by gay couples and felt this issue deserved more study.

Malta Today: [LIVE] PN to abstain on civil unions, Muscat: no à la carte equality


Follow us here for the historic vote on civil unions in the House of Representatives • hashtag #civilunions on Twitter

14 April 2014, 11:18am by Matthew Vella / Miriam Dalli / Jurgen Balzan

Last updated on 14 April 2014, 5:53pm

The rainbow flag is draped over the Labour Party HQ

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil announces the Opposition's vote of abstention over civil unions bill (Photo: Ray Attard)

[Click on the hyperlink above to read all the tweets]

Malta Today: Civil Unions: A historic moment

The introduction of civil unions is a historic moment in terms of social justice and equality

14 April 2014, 3:01pm by Michael Briguglio

Today history will be written in Malta, when Parliament is expected to legalise civil unions. Same-sex couples will have the same rights and obligations as married persons of the opposite sex, including the possibility to adopt children.

When one thinks that until a few years ago, Malta did not even allow divorce, one can only conclude that this is a historic moment in terms of social justice and equality.

When the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) was formed at the turn of the century, it started to articulate discourse for equal rights in terms of sexual identity. Small progressive movements – Moviment Graffitti being one of them – immediately supported MGRM’s calls.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Times: Civil unions law will bring more equality and rights - PM

Sunday, April 13, 2014, 12:13

Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Tomorrow’s Parliamentary vote on the Bill introducing Civil Unions was another block built by Labour movements along the years adding to people’s rights and equality, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this morning.

Addressing a gathering at Attard, a highly charged Dr Muscat told his listeners that the movement’s history was won in which people always spoke up for major ideals which were not yet practiced in Europe.

Independent: An appeal to protect the most vulnerable

Sunday, 13 April 2014, 08:00 by Anthony Zarb Dimech, Birkirkara

The moral decadence and decline that has gripped the United States and Europe is slowly but surely reaching our shores and taking us by storm. Under the pretext of rights and nothing but rights, we have a new Bill on the front burner of our Parliament.

Bill 20, titled “The Civil Unions Act, 2013”, is currently being discussed in Parliament and is now in its advanced stages of being enacted as legislation. Incorporated within this law, the draft included provisions for the adoption of children by gay and lesbian couples.

Independent: Gay couples won’t be adopting

Sunday, 13 April 2014, 11:00 , by Alison Bezzina

Call me negative but, up to a few months ago I was under the assumption that what’s about to happen tomorrow (marriage between gay couples) was never going to happen, at least not in my lifetime.

Until quite recently, I had very little faith that our politicians would ever prioritize this issue, and that even if they did, I thought they would never have found the courage to go ahead with it, at least not in the way they are expected to do tomorrow.

A meeting with Joseph Muscat, three years ago, had continued to discourage any hopes I had for change, because at the time Muscat was ‘not against’ gay marriage personally, but he wasn’t ready to stick his neck out and possibly lose the conservative vote. At the time, he also seemed dead-set against gay adoptions, so needless to say, I walked out of that meeting disappointed, disillusioned and very disheartened.

Whatever happened between then and now is a mystery that I don’t mind never solving because I’m just content knowing that our Prime Minister is capable of changing his mind, and this time certainly not for votes – something I’ve rarely witnessed in politicians on either side.

But it’s still a bittersweet pill that we’ll be swallowing tomorrow because while it’s great to finally see something like this happen despite the objections and the years of apathy, in truth, tomorrow we will be celebrating a basic human right that should have been there ever since we had the gall to call ourselves civilized.

In addition, we’re enacting a law that’s identical to one which already exists, but in order to appease a certain strata of society it is going to be called something other than it should. I refuse to refer to it as anything else but marriage – not gay marriage, not civil union, but marriage, no less no more.

But that’s just me of course.

You might argue ‘what’s in a name?’ and that what’s important is that the same rights and obligations apply. Wrong. A name is very important because language shapes our thoughts; in fact, most of the time, if we don’t have a word for something in our minds it doesn’t exist.

In my opinion, opposing marriage between gay couples in any way, whether in just the name, or because of the adoption clause, or for whatever other reason, is like opposing interracial marriage – in one way or another it is based on the conviction that some people do not deserve the same basic rights as others.

Whether they admitted it or not (and most didn’t), those who opposed interracial marriage in the past believed that one race (white) was superior to another (black). In time, people started to come around and there was also a good section of society who had no objection to white and black people being romantically involved, if they were both consenting adults. But when children were involved, they became worried and had some serious reservations… in the children’s interest.

Initially, some worried that mixing races might result in medical problems, while others worried that ‘mixed’ children would not be accepted by society and would be bullied.

Sounds familiar?

Today, very few will admit that they oppose gay marriage because they think that gays are inferior, and most would say that it’s because of the adoption clause, so let me put their minds at rest – gay couples will not be adopting any time soon. Not because they don’t want to, not because they haven’t been waiting long enough, and not because it’s illegal, but because as things stand, it’s practically impossible.

Here’s why:

While this Bill, once enacted into law, will put everyone, whether gay or straight, on an equal footing, in the sense that we will all have the right to apply to adopt, it does not mean that everyone will be approved and matched with a child.

First of all, just like straight couples, gay couples will have to be married for a number of years before they are eligible to apply for adoption. While this in itself is not fair because gay couples didn’t get married before because they couldn’t and not because they wouldn’t, I don’t see how the state can make sure that the relationship of the applicants is a stable one, so I’ll let this slide.

Secondly, even if I somehow get myself to trust that approvals and disapprovals will not be based on the basis of sexual orientation, and that some gay couples will in fact be approved, if things don’t change, even if a gay couple is approved, matching them with a child will not be possible.

The reason is that at the moment Malta has very few adoption agreements with countries that offer international adoptions, and the existing agreements are with countries and orphanages that do not allow gay couples to adopt. So as things stand, Malta might be giving gay couples the right to adopt, but in practice, unless things change, it won’t happen.

Malta has a couple of years to address this before the first applications start being filed, and I’m hoping that, just like I never thought that marriage between gay couples would ever happen, I could be wrong on this one as well, and that we’ll get our act together sometime during my lifetime.

Times: Tying the gay knot

Saturday, April 12, 2014, 00:01 by Karl Consiglio, Sliema

John Azzopardi, ‘Lull after the storm’ (April 7), believes in God but not in gay marriage. He keeps saying that gay marriage is non-existent but the thing is this: we have still got no evidence that God exists but ample evidence that gay marriage does.

Azzopardi poses the question: “Why should predominantly Catholic Malta give way to such an awkward legislation?” Well, because this country voted predominantly Labour in the last election and the Labour Party said that it would introduce the Civil Union Bill for gay folk too. Simple as that.

Azzopardi goes on to say that it “will offend people of goodwill” but I seriously doubt that people who are truly of goodwill mind at all. On the contrary, we’ll be throwing confetti, popping open the bubbly, raising our glasses and expressing nothing but joy and happiness for every new couple because love’s the only engine of survival. Live and let live!

Independent: Gays, lesbians to celebrate introduction of civil unions law

Thursday, 10 April 2014, 08:59

The Malta Gay Rights Movement will be organising a celebration outside Parliament on Monday when it is expected that the House of Representatives will be voting to enact the law enabling gays and lesbians to form a legally-recognised couple and adopt children

A Facebook page was launched as soon as it was decided that Parliament will be passing the third reading of the law on Monday, a vote that was postponed because the previous President of the Republic, George Abela, had reportedly informed the government that he had not been prepared to sign the law.

YouTube: Il-PN se jastjeni fil-vot tal-Unjoni Ċivili.


One News: Published on 6th April 2014

Il-ligi tal-Unjoni Civili mistennija titressaq ghall-vot fi stadju tat-tielet qari fi ftit jiem u rapport jsostnu li l-Partit Nazzjonalista se jkun qieghed jastjeni.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

MGRM: Celebration for the Introduction of the Civil Union Act

9.4.2014, Ċelebrazzjoni tal-Introduzzjoni tal-Ligi tal-Unjoni Ċivili

Date: Monday, April 14
Time:  6:00pm - 9:00pm

St.George Square, Valletta MALTA

The Parliament has just announced that the 3rd Reading, ie the vote in Parliament, shall be taken on Monday 14th April 2014.... join us in the celebrations on being in the right side of history.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

MGRM Information Talk on the Civil Union Law

4.4.2014 by the Malta Gay Rights Movement

Want to know more about how to enter into a Civil Union? You are an LGBT parent and want to know more about what the Civil Union Act can do for your family? You have already entered into some form of legal recognition in another country and want to know how to register it in Malta?

[Click on the image to enlarge]

Speakers: Ermelinda Zahra, Cyrus Engerer, Silvan Agius & Neil Falzon
24th April 2014 - 19:00, Grand Hotel Excelsior, Floriana
For further information please call: 9925 5559, email: mgrm@maltagayrights.org