Parliament to kick off with gay marriage debate

Parliament to debate Marriage Equality Bill when it reconvenes on 26 June, Joseph Muscat confirms

Parliament will instantly start debating a bill to introduce gay marriage as soon as it reconvenes on 26 June, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat confirmed.

Speaking on One Radio, Muscat said that Marriage Equality Bill is being polished up and will be presented for both its first and second readings as soon as Parliament reconvenes for what will be its 13th legislature since Malta’s Independence.

The Marriage Equality Bill will not only legalise gay marriage but streamline marriage legislation across the board, a move that will allow husbands to adopt their wives’ surnames.

“This Bill is a dream of mine and we have now been given a very strong mandate to continue improving equality in this country,” Muscat said. “My aim is for the Bill to pass into law before Parliament breaks for summer recess.”

Before Parliament breaks for recess, it will also have to debate the budgets of ten public entities – namely the authorities for Planning, Occupational Health and Safety, Housing, Environment and Resources, Tourism, Lands and Embryo Protection, as well as Jobs Plus, the Water Services Corporation and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.

Muscat said that he will request the support of the Opposition for the deadline for these bills to be extended beyond 30 June. Failing that, Parliament will hold two or three debates over a week to get the bills approved before the deadline.  

During his intervention, Muscat said that Malta has now gone back to a “state of normality” after a brutal election campaign.

“This shows a sense of national maturity. The economy is going strong once more, and indeed the government held a number of meetings this week to attract more investment to Malta,” he said. 

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