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.http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/38136/majority_believe_civil_unions_law_should_have_been_subject_to_wider_debate_due_to_adoption_clause
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.
This stand is supported by 40.46% or 1,207 votes who have agreed that the civil unions’ act should not have been subject to wider debate because it was an electoral pledge that had to go through the proper legislative process.
A further 145 respondents also argued against wider debate, but nevertheless agreed that the house family committee should submit an annual report on the state of the Maltese family.
As opposed to the 37 Labour MPs, the Opposition, citing “reservations” on gay adoptions, abstained from voting on the civil unions’ act.
Claiming that “society was not ready for adoption by gay couples”, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil announced that the Opposition would abstain en bloc as the government should not have “confused” civil unions and gay adoption; insisting that the two issues were placed together to divide the opposition and the government.
The PN’s en bloc abstention saw Prime Minister Joseph Muscat accuse his counterpart of being politically weak, while on her part, government backbencher Deborah Schembri said the PN’s abstinence was “contrary to its stand on discrimination based on sexual orientation.”
Nevertheless, 54.68% of respondents – or 1,631 votes – shared the PN’s reservations on adoption by gay couples in saying that the issue should have been subjected to wider debate because the government did not have mandate to implement gay adoption.