Malta proposes same-sex civil unions and adoption laws

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Malta has proposed a civil unions bill to allow both same-sex unions and gay adoption; however, religious leaders are attempting a delay in this legislation by calling for a study on how children adopted by same-sex couples fare and the impact of same-sex adoption on the Maltese society. 

Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna expressed his views on same-sex adoption, explaining that he doesn’t view this matter as a gay rights issue but rather a challenge to the fundamentals of the institution of marriage and family.

“This is a fundamental change in the way Maltese society is set up. We believe that this development is not beneficial to minors and to society in general,” Bishop Scicluna said, according to Malta Today. He added, “This is not about the rights of gay people but about creating a new type of family where the founding principle is not marriage between a man and a woman but any social partnership.”

However, Scicluna’s viewpoint was not supported by his fellow bishops, Archbishop Paul Cremona and Gozo bishop Mario Grech did not lend their signatures to Scicluna’s statement.

Ever since Malta proposed a same-sex civil union and gay adoption law, Scicluna has been relentless in voicing his opinion on the matter and has called for a study to test the affect gay adoption will have on the Maltese society.

Scicluna explained that the church does not believe in placing a child in home where the “natural experience of the conjugal love between a man and a woman” is replaced with the “quasi-marital relationship” of a same-sex couple.

He went on to explain how the bill’s introduction of gay adoption challenges the legal notion of normative parenting.

“The Civil Unions Bill amends the law on filiation: the law that determines who is to be considered a parent. It introduces two new sets of legal parents: John & John. Jane & Jane,” Scicluna said.

Scicluna explained that the teachings of the Catholic doctrine was his guide in formulating his opinions, expressing that the teaching always put the child’s best interest before anything else. “In those cases where the child cannot be brought up by his or her parents, the adoptive parents should follow the mother-father pattern found in nature. Adoption by a single parent is an exception.”

Despite Scicluna’s forceful statements Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stands in unity with the LGBT community. Stating, “I will never compromise on equality for gay couples,” Muscat said according to Gay Star News.

‘This is about the principle of equality. I will not budge on the matter, even if I end up being the only one believing in it,” Muscat stated.

Muscat is in opposition of the call for the study on the affect of gay adoption, not merely due to his unwavering stance on equality, but also on the basis that several existing studies have proven that children adopted by gay parents are in fact both happier and healthier.

“What are you worried about? I don’t think that any dangers to adopted children would be linked to the sexual orientation of the parents,” Muscat said.

429Magazine

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