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Equality minister dubs Chris Said a threat to ‘progressive Malta’

Dalli hits out at Chris Said's pledge to replace gender-neutral laws with 'parent' with 'mother' and 'father' and criticises PN leadership contender Adrian Delia for pledging free vote to MPs on moral and ethical issues
 

Denise Grech
22 August 2017, 5:01pm
Equality Minister Helena Dalli and Equality Labour leader Clayton Cutajar said a Nationalist government would be a threat to equal rights (Photo: Chris Mangion)
Equality Minister Helena Dalli and Equality Labour leader Clayton Cutajar said a Nationalist government would be a threat to equal rights (Photo: Chris Mangion)
Chris Said is a threat to Malta’s progressive stance on equality, equality minister Helena Dall said at a Labour Party press conference on the Nationalist MP’s pledge to revert terminology in the Marriage Equality Act to gender-based terms.

The Act changes the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’ to the gender-neutral term ‘parent’, in an effort to reflect a more inclusive term in society.

“Having the definitions of father and mother removed from our body of laws to be replaced by the more generic ‘parent’ impoverished our laws,” Said said earlier this week in a press conference as part of his campaign to become PN leader.

Dalli, flanked by Equality Labour branch leader Clayton Cutajar, said that Said’s pledge showed that a Labour government as “the only hope for people who feel unaccepted in society”.

Dalli said there was clear evidence that PN candidates thought of gay families as lesser than heterosexual counterparts, and reference the other PN leadership contender’s, Adrian Delia, pledge to give MPs a free vote on moral issues such as gay marriage.

Dalli said that a free vote was ‘unacceptable’ and that this type of discourse was evidence of candidates that believe that some people should have more civil rights than others. “We need to protect the internationally recognised model we have created,” continued the MP, arguing that EU countries have reached out to inquire about the Maltese equality legislative model.

Chris Said: ‘Not ashamed of using mother and father terms’

Chris Said responded to Dalli's comments, claiming that the Labour Party was embarrassed of using gender-based terms like ‘mother’ and ‘father’.

Reinstating his commitment to LGBTIQ right, the PN MP proposed that a Nationalist administration would “re-introduce the ‘mother’ and ‘father’ terminologies alongside the existing ‘parent’ term, for those who wish to retain a more generic definition.”

“If Helena Dalli is too ‘embarassed’ of using the terms mother and father, then she has every right to vote against it,” Said said.