Marlene Farrugia, Godfrey Farrugia to vote for marriage equality bill

PD MPs to vote in favour of Bill that will legalise gay marriage, and call for further education on LGBT+ rights to ensure that legislation changes are mirrored on the ground 

Partit Demokratiku MPs Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia
Partit Demokratiku MPs Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia

Partit Demokratiku MPs Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia have declared that they will be unequivocally voting in favour of the Marriage Equality Bill, that will be debated in Parliament this evening.

The Bill, the first to be debated in the 13th legislature, will streamline marriage legislation across the board, legalizing gay marriage and allowing husbands to take on their wives’ surnames.

In a statement, the PD said that the proposed Bill is important because “if we truly believe in an equal society, recognition and respect for the diverse expressions of equality need to be legislated for”.

“There is no such thing as equality if this is asymmetrical,” the PD said. “A lack of a equality for one group undermines effective equality for all members of Maltese society; it marginalises people.

The changes the Bill puts forward have important implications for diversity, generally, and for equality, in all its expressions, in our society. This includes the equality of women.”

It dismissed any suggestions that the introduction of gay marriage will be a mere cosmetic move, given that homosexual couples in civil unions already enjoy the same rights as married couples.

“What’s in a name? Everything in this case. A change in name symbolises our efforts to put all members of our society at par, without discrimination or distinction. This is the case not just LGBTIQA couples, but for married couples generally.”

The PD also called for further education on LGBTIQA rights to ensure that changes in legislation are mirrored on the ground.

“Without education and knowledge about what these changes mean, in substance, these immense strides risk being undermined or rendered hollow,” it said. “Civil rights are not a matter of political point-scoring they form the foundation of our social fabric. Therefore, progress made should be engrained in our collective social conscience. Here we must ask ourselves how we are to affect holistic and meaningful social change.

“Education and opening the space for dialogue from an early age are essential. PD reminds that the changes our society is witnessing are young, they are fragile, and we must do all we can to bolster the space for dialogue and understanding of these issues. These issues remain sensitive and are often still met with resistance in some quarters.”

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