Predominantly Catholic nation Malta legalises same-sex marriage

Malta is the latest country to embrace marriage equality, following in the footsteps of Germany, Taiwan and 22 other nations.

Europe’s smallest country changed its laws so that marriage ceremonies will no longer pronounce ‘you are now husband and wife’, instead they will declare ‘you are now spouses’. Birth certificates will also now declare parents instead of mothers and fathers.

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said it was a historic decision. The PM had vowed to make equality a top issue after being voted in for a second term last month.

“It’s a historic vote. This shows that our democracy and society have reached a level of maturity and we can now say that we are all equal.”

The move was opposed by the Catholic church, but only one of the country’s 67 politicians voted against the change.

Australia’s The Equality Campaign today congratulated the Government of Malta for delivering marriage equality. The advocacy group said marriage equality ensures that every gay and lesbian citizen is afforded the same dignity and respect.

“Malta has demonstrated that this issue does not need to be lost in politics but can instead be a moment of national unity and celebration,” said Tiernan Brady, the campaign’s Executive Director.

“Equal status for our gay and lesbian friends, family members, colleagues and neighbours should not be a political football. Marriage equality can and should rise above party politics, not be held hostage by it. This is simply about people wanting to get on with their lives with equal dignity and respect.”

“Parliament can deliver this fair reform and no one will be less married or more gay. It will be a unifying moment that ensures everyone is valued as an equal while allowing our nation to move forward,” Brady said.

Co-Chair of Australian Marriage Equality, Alex Greenwich said it was clear the majority of Australians support marriage equality and it was time for our own parliament to take direct action.

“The majority of the nation backs this straightforward reform and the Senate Inquiry delivered a pathway that was fair for every Australian whilst having no impact on the religious celebration of marriage.

“It is important that we continue to remind our politicians this is simply about civil marriage equality and the majority of the nation backs it.

“Poll after poll consistently says the Australian people back marriage equality because they believe every Australian is equal and deserves a fair go,” Greenwich added.

OIP Staff

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