Malta: Same-Sex Marriage

This article was written by Bentley Hatchett, who is a member of Tradition, Family, Property.

Malta, a nation once seen as a bastion of traditional moral values in Europe, is now moving to fully legalize same-sex marriage. The country, which is associated with the famous Sovereign Military Order of Malta, only just allowed for divorce and homosexual civil unions within the past 8 years.   

According to a recent article on the Times of Malta, Helena Dalli, minister of “Civil Liberties” and a member of the leftist Maltese Labour Party, addressed the issue at an event put on by the pro-homosexual NGO Drachma, “You are not going to believe this but, just yesterday, I was revising a bill on marriage equality… Our civil union law is already on a par with marriage. All rights are there and it’s just different in name sow we’re changing that.”  

To some, however, this is not a surprise. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat indicated last year that he was in support of homosexual marriage – a sentiment that caused a stir in both Catholic and LGBT outlets.  

Unlike other European countries, the political opposition has been relatively weak on the issue. Instead of combating this movement, they have instead chose to dismiss it as a non-issue and a divertive tactic. This behavior is not uncharacteristic of them, as the same group chose to abstain when the civil unions bill was voted on some three years ago.   

There is, however, strong pushback from many Maltese Catholics. To them, it is impossible to separate the island’s history and identity from the Catholic Church. They point to the fact that the Catholic Church’s teaching on the subject is clear; homosexuality is gravely immoral and such unions stand in contradiction to Natural Law. Citing a document on the subject published by TFP Student Action, an activist organization of Catholic inspiration, “Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It is a relationship rooted in human nature and thus governed by natural law. 

“Natural law’s most elementary precept is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” By his natural reason, man can perceive what is morally good or bad for him. Thus, he can know the end or purpose of each of his acts and how it is morally wrong to transform the means that help him accomplish an act into the act’s purpose. 

“Any situation which institutionalizes the circumvention of the purpose of the sexual act violates natural law and the objective norm of morality. Being rooted in human nature, natural law is universal and immutable. It applies to the entire human race, equally. It commands and forbids consistently, everywhere and always. Saint Paul taught in the Epistle to the Romans that the natural law is inscribed on the heart of every man. (Rom. 2:14-15)”  

In his 2003 document Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, Pope John Paul II said, “[All Catholics are] obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions… The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society.” 

These sentiments were reiterated in a 2013 interview by Bishop Charles Scicluna, “While the sexual activity of heterosexual couples has a fundamental role in producing future members of the society, that of same-sex couples does not have a role in society as it does not produce offspring…”   

Although nothing has been passed at the time of writing, it is expected that the proposed law will be introduced under the auspices of a “Marriage Equality Bill” that is reportedly being drafted.

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