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Malta passes civil unions bill

Measure also allows same-sex couples to adopt

Malta’s parliament has approved a bill that will allow gay couples to enter into civil unions and to adopt children. President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca is expected to sign the measure into law. Credit: gozonews.com

Malta’s parliament approved a bill that allows gay couples to enter into civil unions and to adopt children, with all government MPs voting in favour of the measure, while their opposition counterparts all abstained from the vote, Malta Independent Online reports.

The country’s president, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, is expected to sign the bill into law.

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil says that while the abstaining MPs support civil unions, they are not as keen about permitting gay people to adopt, not because they would be bad parents, but because society is not ready to accept it.

But Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says that if society is reluctant to take this next step, it is parliament’s job to demonstrate how the bill contributes to greater equality in the country.