I don’t know about you, but I really do not appreciate being taken for a ride. And the stance of the new leader of the opposition regarding IVF parental leave feels exactly like that is what is happening.

For those who haven’t been following: PN has tabled a motion to oppose a legal notice granting all couples – both heterosexual and homosexual –  100 hours of leave when seeking IVF treatment abroad.

Adrian Delia decided that the best way to leave a mark during the first few months as leader of the opposition is by asking for an amendment to exclude homosexual couples from benefitting from this much-needed leave allowance.

And by teeing off, in the process, the entire homosexual community in Malta and anyone else who is in favour of equal civil rights.

The official line being taken is not “because we want to keep Malta in the dark ages and stop people from being treated equally”, of course.

No, the official line is that most lawyerly of excuses: it’s not about being gay at all, it’s about the law.

Because, you see, Malta also happens to have another piece of legislation – the Embryo Protection Act, which is in severe need of an overhaul – that specifically prohibits same-sex couples from being given access to medically assisted procreation.

So this motion is simply intended to ensure that the legal notice about parental leave is in line with the law. Or so the PN machinery would like to have us believe.

However, depriving same sex couples of their rights is very obviously not the solution to this particular problem

Sophistry at its best.

The contradiction between legal notice and legal act is there, indeed. However, depriving same sex couples of their rights is very obviously not the solution to this particular problem.

If the PN, headed by Dr Delia, is so keen on upholding the minutae of the law, then there is a more reasonable and humane approach that it can perhaps try – tabling a motion for a thorough rehaul of the Embryo Protection Act to bring it in line with modern principles of civil rights. A long and laborious process, but one that needs to be done.

It’s a no-brainer really. You can either deprive a sector of society of their civil rights to ensure the law is followed to the letter - or, you can amend the very law that is denying said rights.

I wouldn’t have thought there was any need to think about it much.

So no, I’m afraid I am not fooled by the PN official line that “the legal notice granting such rights to same-sex couples seeking IVF treatment abroad was not in line with the law and the party was merely seeking to eliminate a legal anomaly”.

This is an obvious and deliberate attempt to take away the equal rights that all couples, including same-sex couples, should be free to enjoy.

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