Civil marriages should not remain gender specific - MGRM

Malta Gay Rights Movement has launched a position paper on marriage equality in which it is asking that the legal definition of civil unions does not remain gender specific.

Lawyer Neil Falzon, who was commissioned to draw up the paper, emphasised that it tackled civil union and was not, in any way, asking the Church to redefine its understanding of marriage.

He noted that allowing gay people to marry civilly would grant them full equality and would grant them access to a whole range of rights that come with signing a marriage contract.

These rights - such as the right to adopt, inheritance and pensions - were not necessarily covered through the cohabitation law government has promised.

Gabi Calleja, from the movement, pointed out that cohabitation law did not recognise the relationship between the couple.

"No harm ensues to society from the granting of equal rights to same-sex couples and therefore any delay can not be morally justified... Equality is not a luxury, it is a basic human right and the time for it is now," she said.

Dr Falzon stressed that granting gay people the right to marry did not diminish the rights of same-sex couples and did not threaten Church marriage.

It was important that the state stopped giving marriage a religious based meaning.

The divorce debate had already shown that the definition of civil marriage could change - away from a union that lasted a life time. Now it was time to debate changing the definition of who could get married, he said.

The position paper will be given to the major political parties and policy makers.

The movement also launched its new website

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