Chris Said terminology pledge proves only Labour protects civil rights, Equality Labour says

Equality Labour has expressed concern at Nationalist Party leader candidate Chris Said’s comments, where he called for the reintroduction of gender specific terminology to the Marriage Equality Act

Chris Said last Thursday promised to reintroduce gender-specific terminology to the Marriage Equality Act
Chris Said last Thursday promised to reintroduce gender-specific terminology to the Marriage Equality Act

The Labour Party’s LGBTIQ branch, known as Equality Labour has expressed concern of the pledge by PN leader contender Chris Said to revert terminology in the Marriage Equality Act to gender-based terms.

While promising to maintain same-sex marriage, calling it “a step forward,” last Thursday, Said said in a statement that opting for the gender neutral term ‘parent in the legislation “impoverished” it, and promised to reintroduce the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’, alongside its gender neutral counterpart.

“Having the definitions of father and mother removed from our body of laws to be replaced by the more generic ‘parent’ impoverished our laws and downgraded the two most important roles in our society, irrespective of whether they are occupied by straight or gay people.”

“It is for this reason that I pledge that if I am given the privilege to lead a future Nationalist government, I would ensure that without opening any debate or putting at risk any gender equality rights that are now secured, ensure that the concept of mother and father is reintroduced in the laws of our country, together with the more generic term of ‘parent’ for those wishing to be represented by that term.”

This morning, Equality Labour said that the move would “remove the concept of complete equality” found in the law, adding that Said was contradicting himself, as he had not objected to the law when voting in Parliament.

“This shows a lack of principle and politics of convenience,” Equality Labour said in a statement.

Equality Labour insisted that the change in terminology was carried out so that every parent, irrespective of their gender or sexual orientation, could be considered a parent above anything else.

“Furthermore, it ensures that no discrimination appears between heterosexuals and members of the LGBTIQ community,” Equality Labour added.

“If the Nationalist Party goes back on the progress made by the Labour government, it would be confirming that the only protection of civil rights lie in the Labour Party led by Joseph Muscat.”

In reaction to the statement by Equality Labour, Chris said reiterated that a future PN government would safeguard all new civil rights voted for in Parliament, adding: "I am not ashamed of the terms 'mother' and 'father'. I am worried to see that Labour is."