(Blogmensgo, gay blog of July 20, 2017) On July 12, 2017, the Maltese Parliament adopted a bill on same-sex marriage and adoption in third reading and almost unanimously. Back in April of 2014, the parliament had voted for same-sex unions and child adoption by same-sex partners, and in December of 2016, two LGBT-friendly bills had been adopted.
The following video is a short report by Euronews on legalization of same-sex marriages:
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had wanted this bill to become the first one voted for by the parliament in his second government term – and his wish became true. Helena Dalli, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Equal Rights, had introduced the bill.
During the vote for same-sex unions back in 2014, 30 representatives of the nationalistic party (opposition) had abstained from voting because they were against the right of child adoption by same-sex couples. During the vote on this new bill, only one representative of the nationalists voted against it (due to religious convictions), and all other 66 representatives voted for the bill.
The text will become law once the Maltese president has ratified it. Due to the strong general support, this is considered a pure formality.
The new law will modify a number of other laws and regulations on marriage, civil unions, the civil code, the penal law etc.
The situation, rights and responsibilities of same-sex couples will completely be brought in line with those of heterosexual couples. Instead of husband and wife, all forms will use the term gender-neutral term spouse in the future.
This new law on “marriage for everyone” will even change something for straight couples: Married women will no longer have to adopt their husband’s family name.
Instead of father and mother, only the terms parent and parents will be used in the future.
Since 2014, 141 couples have contracted same-sex unions, and since 2016, the number of civil marriages has exceeded the number of religious marriages.
To close with, here is a video of the celebrations in the evening of the vote. Claudia Fianello, Malta’s representative at the ESC 2017, is shown singing a song and waiving a rainbow flag. (Unfortunately, the sound is not very good.)
Before this show at the central square, the Prime Ministers with some other ministers and high-ranking politicians showed up on the tribune, together with the LGBTQI advisory board, where they were cheerfully welcomed by the crowds – a wonderful mix of LGBTs and gay-friendly straight people.