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.
This was not the promise of the electoral programme of the government in its manifesto titled “Malta Tagħna Ilkoll, Manifest Elettorali 2013, where on page 70, No.7 it is simply stated, “Indaħħlu d-dritt ta’ Civil Unions għal persuni ta’ l-istess sess” (we introduce the right of Civil Unions for persons of the same sex).
President Emeritus George Abela stood up and declared his position when still President, stating that he would never sign such a Bill that included gay adoptions. Understandably, this statement was made on moral grounds and also to send a message to the entire Maltese social spectrum, including, of course, his successor President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, that this law should not be signed. In expressing his personal opinion, Dr Abela intelligently passed the ball and the social and political weight and implications of this Bill on to all of us to deal with this issue.
The issue can be viewed from different perspectives; notably legal and moral. From the legal viewpoint, gay adoptions were not part of the package presented in the electoral manifesto of the present government. While gay and lesbian couples have every right to engage in civil unions and have all their civil, political and economic rights protected where it comes to health, inheritance, property and other matters, the question of adopting children is certainly a completely different kettle of fish. One must consider that this law, regarding gay adoptions in particular, if passed, would have to re-define completely the legal and administrative structure of the country in that it would have a cascading effect on all laws that would have to reflect the changes that this Bill imposes. It is not just simply introducing a new law!
From the cultural and moral standpoint, Maltese society is basically Christian in its values and while the position of the Church, government and the Opposition have been aired with regard to this law, it would be wise to take stock of the implications that this law would have in the re-thinking process of the Maltese Christian values that have formed and founded this nation, since the advent of St Paul.
The institution of marriage and the family need protection. One cannot allow children to be deprived of a stable family structure of husband and wife and mother and father. Has the legislator considered what it will feel like for those children who cannot celebrate, for instance, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day at school because their parents are both men or both women? Children have a heart, mind and soul as well and their voice should be heard! This law literally imposes on the most vulnerable and no Christian can tolerate a twisted version of the family as God created it!
My heart and my appeal go out to President Coleiro-Preca who has already pronounced her love for children and the protection of their rights, to follow in President Emeritus Abela’s steps and not sign the Bill if passed through Parliament.
If the Bill is signed and becomes law, and if the petition against gay adoptions, as presented by River of Love Christian Fellowship leads to enough signatures to call for an Abrogative Referendum, I also appeal to the Maltese Christians, irrespective of whether Baptist, Catholic or Evangelical, to unite as one Body in Christ; to put aside their differences and rise to the occasion and show the world how much they cherish their Christian values, beliefs and roots and sign out this law on adoptions.