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AP: Malta OKs same-sex marriages over Catholic Church protest


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https://apnews.com/f4ba5657ef884586a1df5ec3a0624ce0?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP

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Malta OKs same-sex marriages over Catholic Church protest

 

Lawmakers in predominantly Roman Catholic Malta legalized same-sex marriage Wednesday, joining much of Western Europe by replacing the traditional “you are now husband and wife” declaration in civil ceremonies with “you are now spouses.”

 

Only one lawmaker out of 67 in the Maltese parliament voted against the legislation, signaling its broad support on the island nation despite opposition from the Catholic Church.

Nationalist lawmaker Edwin Vassallo cited his Catholic faith and its incompatibility with what he called a “morally unacceptable” law.


“As a Christian politician I cannot leave my conscience outside the door” when voting, Vassallo said.

 

The Labor government had promised to introduce the bill as its first law after winning a second term last month. Both opposition parties supported it, ensuring its passage.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat hailed the “historic” vote, saying it showed Maltese society had reached “an unprecedented level of maturity.”

 

“We live in a society where we can all say ‘we are equal,’” Muscat said as a celebration erupted outside his office in Valletta, the capital.

 

Indeed, the law’s passage marked the latest evidence of the transformation of the once-conservative nation of about 440,000 people, where divorce was illegal until 2011.

 

While abortion remains banned in Malta, adoption by same-sex couples has been legal since civil unions were introduced in 2014. Last year, the number of exclusively civil marriages eclipsed the number of church weddings for the first time.

 

Archbishop Charles Scicluna had opposed the same-sex marriage law, reflecting the church’s longstanding view that marriage can only be between a man and woman.

 

“I can decide that a carob and an orange should no longer be called by their name,” he said in a homily a few days after parliament started debating the legislation. “But a carob remains a carob and an orange remains an orange. And marriage, whatever the law says, remains an eternal union exclusive to a man and a woman.”

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage

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As of 11 July 2017, same-sex marriage is legally recognized (nationwide or in some parts) in the following countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico,[nb 1] the Netherlands,[nb 2] New Zealand,[nb 3] Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom,[nb 4] the United States[nb 5] and Uruguay. Same-sex marriage is likely to soon become legal in Taiwan, after a constitutional court ruling in May 2017.[1] Furthermore, legislation allowing same-sex marriage in Germany and Malta has passed the German and the Maltese legislatures respectively and both laws are expected to go into effect in late 2017.[2][3] Polls show rising support for legally recognizing same-sex marriage in the Americas, Australia and most of Europe.[4][5][6] However, as of 2017, South Africa is the only African country where same-sex marriage is recognized. Taiwan would become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage if the Civil Code is amended. Israel and Armenia recognise same-sex marriages performed overseas for some purposes.[7][8]

 

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