Malta OKs same- sex marriages over Catholic Church protest
VALLETTA, Malta — 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, signalling 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. “A Christian politician cannot leave his conscience outside the door,” when he enters parliament, 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.
The aim of the law, piloted by Malta Equality Minister Helena Dalli, was to “modernize the institution of marriage” to extend it to all consenting adult couples.