Fear campaigns always preceded social change, says Moviment Iva

Divorce is not a ‘leap into the dark’, but a leap out of the dark, says former Nationalist minister Michael Falzon.

Former Nationalist minister and pro-divorce lobby activist Michael Falzon denounced the “scaremongering" anti-divorce campaign which he said was being conducted "officially" through Moviment Zwieg Bla Divorzju, and unofficially through "fear and deceit".

Falzon said that similar scaremongering always preceded instances of social change in Malta “when campaigns that play on people’s fear of the unknown are pushed by those who do not wish the status quo to be challenged.”

He referred to examples such as the introduction of civil marriage, and the decriminalisation of adultery and homosexuality, as well as Malta's run-up to Independence, Republic, and European Union accession.

“It was during the Independence campaign when I first heard the political statement ‘leap in the dark’,” Falzon remarked. “Marriages didn’t break down when civil marriage was introduced,” he said, “and neither did society fall into chaos when adultery and homosexuality were decriminalised.”

“This fear is often resorted to by people who have no solid basis for opposition,” he said. “Divorce is not a leap into the dark, but a leap out of the dark,” he stressed, turning one of the anti-divorce lobby’s slogans on its head.

Falzon also reiterated earlier concerns of individuals affiliated with religious organisations that are “abusing of their position” and scaring elderly people. “Elderly people in care homes are being told that divorce will mean that government will have to spend so much that it will not afford to pay their pensions,” Falzon said.

Both he and Labour MP Evarist Bartolo said they had been approached separately by various sources, among whom were relatives of the elderly people in question. They confirmed that the intimidation was taking place in Msida care homes by individuals affiliated with the M.U.S.E.U.M organisation.

They added that it is unlikely that it is part of an organised effort: “it is more likely that it is simply a couple of individuals who are abusing of their trust and position,” Bartolo said.

Asked to react to statements made by Bishop Mario Grech on Sunday, Falzon said, “it is likely a knee jerk reaction to the formation of the Catholics in favour of divorce movement.”

“Everyone can have their own opinion,” Falzon said. “We leave it up to everyone to draw their own conclusions.”

Falzo also rebutted arguments currently propounded by Moviment Zwieg Bla Divorzju: “the idea that divorce will create some sort of social poverty is a myth.”

He said that while the anti-divorce campaign criticises divorce for supposedly not guaranteeing maintenance, “annulment removes all ties between the former spouses, meaning that not only maintenance is not awarded, but things like widows’ pensions are not available.”

He said that even now, during separation procedures, “most couples prefer to opt for the mutual waiving of maintenance, which would then include pensions.”

He reiterated that divorce will not change anything as to how maintenance and pensions are currently taken care of. “The only thing that will change is that despite how divorce would remove all links between the former spouses, our draft law specifics that pre-existing maintenance agreements would nevertheless stand,” he said.

He clarified that this is what the pro-divorce lobby means when it stresses that “maintenance is guaranteed.” He also slammed statements and scenarios where workers would be forced to give half their wage in maintenance as “a complete fabrication.”

aqra dan l-artiklu sur perit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1193545/Only-marriage-mend-broken-Britain-says-judge.html u wara weġibni jekk id-divorzju huwiex qabża fid-dlam jew fit-tama.
Konna nippreferu kieku jaqbdu u jsemmu l-ismijiet. Mhux sew qed jitħammġu b'mod ġenerali għaqdiet li jgħamlu bosta ġid f'pajjiżna.