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Malta: President Signs Civil Unions Bill

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

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The President of Malta has signed a bill into law which allows civil partnerships and adoption for same-sex couples.

On Monday this week, the Parliament of Malta voted to allow same-sex couples to enter civil unions and adopt children and amended its constitution to forbid discrimination against transgender people.

President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca signed the civil unions bill into law yesterday, reports the Malta Independent.

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Malta: Civil Unions Bill is Passed

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

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The European island nation of Malta has finally passed its civil unions and adoptions bill for same sex couples.

Gay Star News reports:

With the opposition choosing to abstain from the vote, the Labour-led government passed the bill Monday evening. President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, who said she had ‘no problems’ giving gay couples civil unions, is expected to sign the bill as early as tomorrow. Gay campaigners said they were ‘jubilant’ at the news, holding a celebration at the square outside the parliament building in Valletta.

The bill was controversial mainly for its adoption provision, which was strongly opposed by the opposition party and some religious figures. Congratulations to Malta’s same sex couples!

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Malta: Final Vote on Civil Unions Bill Today

Monday, April 14th, 2014

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Malta’s Parliament is expected to give final approval to the pending civil unions bill.

Towleroad.com reports:

Malta’s parliament is expected to pass civil union legislation today, Europe Online reports: Efforts to pass the legislation, which has stirred a controversy in recent weeks, see Malta’s Labour government delivering on a key electoral pledge. The opposition Nationalist Party is expected to abstain from the vote, primarily because the legislation gives gay couples the right to adopt.

The bill was delayed because the outgoing President said he would not sign it.

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Malta: Civil Union Bill Updates

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

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As the civil unions bill inches closer to passage in the island nation of Malta, a few updates.

First off, a Malta candidate for the European Parliament says he wishes the bill didn’t include a provision allowing gays to adopt.

The Malta Independent reports:

PN MEP candidate MEP hopeful thinks that the gay adoption issue has not been studied enough and as such feels that MPs should have more information in hand before approving this new concept. In an interview that will be published tomorrow in The Malta Independent, Mr Mallia says that Civil Unions and gay adoptions should not be in the same Bill of law and, as such, if he were an MP he would abstain from voting on the current version of the Bill.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church is distancing itself from evangelical pastor Gordon-John Manche, who collected 10K signatures to try to derail the bill.

Malta Today reports:

A Curia spokesperson insisted that the Church is not associated with the pastor or his fellowship. “Gordon-John Manche and the River of Love fellowship do not have any link with the Catholic Church or any of its members. Consequently, there is no need for the church to disassociate itself from recent comments because there is no association whatsoever,” a Curia spokesperson told Illum.

The bill is expected to pass soon, and the incoming President has indicated she will sign it.

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Malta: Prime Minister Stands Firm on Civil Unions Bill As Opposition Party Tries to Remove Adoptions Clause

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

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Malta’s opposition party is trying to kill the gay adoptions part of the proposed civil unions bill with an unnecessary study. The Prime Minister is opposed to the change.

Gay Star News reports:

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said he will never compromise on equality for gay couples, promising to fight for civil unions. The Labour leader has said, in the fight for gay couples to be given similar rights to married straight couples, he said he will not negotiate on human rights… Muscat has found an idea of a study ridiculous, considering the majority of credited worldwide studies into the subject have discovered children are actually happier and healthier after being adopted by gay couples.

We’re starting to see this fight play out more and more, as same-sex couples win marriage rights while still being denied adoption rights.

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Malta: New Poll Shows Plurality Support Civil Unions

Monday, November 18th, 2013

titleA new poll out of Malta shows that 45% now support civil unions for same-sex couples, while only 26% disapprove.

Malta Today reports:

Only 26% of respondents to a MaltaToday survey are opposed to a new law that grants same-sex couples who form a civil union the same rights and obligations enjoyed by married couples. But 45% of respondents agree with full equality between the two statuses… except in granting adoption rights.

Currently single people, including gays, are allowed to adopt children as long as they are deemed to be good parents by professional social workers. The new civil unions law will now enable same-sex couples in formal unions to adopt as a couple. But the survey shows that only 25% agree with granting same-sex couples adoption rights – even though single gay parents already adopt children. This still represents a remarkable increase from 2007, when a Eurobarometer survey showed that only 7% agreed with adoptions by same sex couples.

In related news, a gay lawmaker is not happy that the PN Party plans to push amendments to the civil unions bill, but won’t disclose what those will be.

Malta Today reports:

Busuttil met Malta Gay Rights Movement coordinator Gabi Calleja and human rights lawyer Neil Falzon, of Aditus Foundation, who authored the civil unions’ bill; together with PN equality spokesperson Claudette Buttigieg and MEP candidate Therese Commodini Cachia. A PN source described the outcome of the meeting as “nothing short of disastrous”. “The party wants to amend the law but didn’t want to explain exactly what these changes will be. They had to fend off accusations that they are going to dilute the bill, and the meeting ended on a sour note. There was a good deal of shouting,” the party source said.

Looks like we found our Malta Republicans.

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Malta: Civil Unions Bill Fight Heats Up

Monday, October 21st, 2013

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The island nation of Malta has unexpectedly become a battleground in the fight over rights for same-sex couples, as the country is about to consider passage of a civil unions bill.

Bishop Charles Scicluna had no kind words for the proposed law.

The Times of Malta reports:

In a letter to The Sunday Times of Malta, he urges MPs to reflect and engage in a thorough debate before voting out the “traditional concept of conjugality” when deciding on a Civil Unions Bill proposed by the Government. Mgr Scicluna says: “In a nutshell marriage is for the family. It is not simply a socially recognised partnership. The proposed bill intends to put all this behind us in the name of the asserted equality of same sex (homosexual) couples to couples of different sex (heterosexual) couples. “This asserted equality is a no-brainer when we deal with human dignity and the right to freedom from unjust discrimination. It does not stand the test of logic when it comes to the openness to the gift of parenthood.”

Someone needs to send the good bishop a memo – it’s not marriage, it civil unions. It should have been marriage. Here’s the letter.

Another Catholic group is also pushing the Parliament to back off.

Malta today reports:

The Maltese archdiocese’s marriage preparation organisation Cana Movement has echoed a bishops’ letter to its faithful, to call on MPs to consider the effects of gay marriage on children who will be adopted by two same-sex parents. The Labour government is pushing a civil unions bill that will regulate gay marriage or civil union contracts for cohabiting partners.

Meanwhile,Malta is planning on keeping its ban on blood donations by gay men, at the same time is advancing the civil unions bill.

Gay Star News reports:

Malta has reaffirmed it will keep the ban on sexually active gay men giving blood – but the island nation is moving towards same-sex civil unions. The Mediterranean island archipelago is currently debating a form of ‘gay marriage’ – which could be passed within weeks. But that has led to questions about other LGBT issues, including about the ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men.

More out of Malta as the story develops.

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Malta: Civil Unions Bill Arrives in Parliament This Week

Monday, October 14th, 2013

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The island nation of Malta’s long-proposed civil unions bill is set to begin the legislative process this week.

Pink News reports:

A bill to introduce civil unions for gay couples in Malta will arrive in the country’s Parliament this week. Malta’s Equality Minister Helena Dalli told a press conference on Monday that the Civil Unions Bill will recognise same-sex partnerships and give them the same rights and duties as married heterosexual couples. “We are people before we are straight, gay, black, white or red,” she said. “We have to move towards a society that shuns discrimination and everyone enjoys rights to live a happy life.”

It’s a good first step. We all saw what happened to the “everything but marriage” law in Washington state, after all.

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Malta: Parliament to Consider Civil Unions Bill Today

Monday, September 30th, 2013

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Gay and lesbian couples in the island nation of Malta may get some rights soon.

The Times of Malta reports:

The House of Representatives reconvenes this evening after the summer recess, although activity continued throughout the summer in the Public Accounts Committee. The first item on the agenda is the first reading of a Bill on Civil Unions, a law which will regulate same-sex partnerships. The first reading is a formality which gives the all-clear for the publication of the Bill.

While not full marriage equality, a civil unions bill would be a big step forward for this European nation.

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Malta: Prime Minister Promises Civil Unions By End of 2013

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

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Gay and lesbian couples will finally get some official recognition under a plan floated by Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. The Times of Malta reports:

Civil unions for same sex couples will be introduced by the end of the year, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this afternoon after he was presented with the Soldier Award as an “agent of change”.The award was presented by the social group Gay Exiles, which represents Maltese who had to leave their families to live in foreign countries with their loved ones, who happened to be of the same sex.

A good first step to provide some legal protections to Malta’s gay and lesbian couples.

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