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Malta Expected to Pass Gay Civil Union Legislation Today

Malta's parliament is expected to pass civil union legislation today, Europe Online reports:

MaltaEfforts 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.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat described the change as a very important moment for Malta.

"This is the essence of equality, the apex of European values. It also shows that with political will, even a conservative society can boldly transform itself," Muscat told dpa.

Malta's population is heavily Catholic and extremely conservative.

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  1. US Catholics are not that conservative. It probably is an European thing. Like the French Catholics also apposed marriage equality.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 14, 2014 10:24:14 AM

  2. They're doing it because the EU has demanded it, not because they came up with the idea on their own.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 14, 2014 11:58:08 AM

  3. The mere fact that such a conservative sountry can do this much (all be it) to stay up with the changes in the EU, gives hope for our more conservative states. Hiwever in the EU they want to belong; here our tealiban want to control or be separate.

    Posted by: steve | Apr 14, 2014 12:11:58 PM

  4. Paul R, that's not true. Under EU law all member states must prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment. The EU is empowered by the treaties to go further but has yet to do so despite string support from the European Parliament. Despite that, the EU does exert pressure on member states to combat anti-gay discrimination.

    In addition, to become a member all current members have to agree so anti-gay countries that want to join would be aware of the need to combat anti-gay discrimination to make current members more likely to let them join.

    Relationship recognition however is not under the remit of the EU though there is debate over all members states having to recognise each other's gay marriage, civil unions, etc. in compliance with the freedom of movement within the EU guaranteed to all citizens of member states. Malta is acting without being forced to do so and so deserves credit for its action today though a lot remains to be done in law and in combating anti-prejudice in society.

    Posted by: Paschal | Apr 14, 2014 8:44:14 PM

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