With just one dissenting vote and 66 votes in favor, the Malta Parliament passed a law allowing same-sex marriage. The measure was taken on Wednesday (12), three years after being allowed homoafetive civil union in the country. Malta became the 25th country in the world to allow same-sex marriage and the 15th of the European continent.
During legislative elections in June, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of Malta had promised that this would be the first law of his new mandate. “This is a historic vote, which shows that our democracy and our society have reached a certain degree of maturity and that we can all be equal,” Muscat told the press after the text was approved.
The Nationalist Party, the main opposition party, accused the government of rushing through the changes without a proper consultation, but nonetheless they voted in favor of the bill, with only one of its members protesting against it. The change in the text of the law removed the words “husband,” “wife,” “mother,” and “father” to replace them with neutral terms such as spouse.
The legalization of marriage in the country will bring benefits to the inhabitants and to the struggle for equality. The civil union of rights allowed only adoption as a single, while the new law allows adoption by all couples, regardless of sexual orientation. Since 2014, 141 couples have held civil unions in the country.
This new law represents a breakthrough in a country where Catholicism is the state’s official religion, where divorce was legalized only in 2011 and abortion remains illegal.