LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Malta keeps on rocking: marriage equality on its way

An overwhelming majority in the Maltese parliament has voted in favour of a bill to change the marriage act (and a number of related laws). 

The aim of the bill is to ensure all couples are treated equally before the law. In practice, this will make marriage gender neutral and open for all.

Once the new law comes into effect, same-sex couples will have the opportunity to enjoy the rights associated with marriage, including the right to apply for joint adoption.

“This step is the icing on the cake of the tremendous work by the Maltese LGBTI movement. We congratulate the Maltese government for sticking to its commitments. We applaud everyone who has been working on this. To see equal marriage supported by practically the entire parliament is amazing.” commented ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis.

“Now the government must tackle a new project – ensuring full social acceptance. We know that there are some parts of society who opposed this bill, who had doubts. It is up to the government to continue to show leadership, together with the LGBTI movement, and really embed this legal change in society. The talking is finished inside parliament, but the work must continue outside its doors. All sections of this bill have to be truly felt in the daily lives of LGBTI people in Malta.” Evelyne Paradis continued.

The bill will now continue its legislative journey, and will be enforceable when it is signed by President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca. It is expected that the first same-sex couples will be able to tie the knot before the end of 2017.  

  • For up-to-date information on the legal and policy situation for LGBTI people in Europe, visit our Rainbow Europe Module: (Please note that Malta’s entry will only be updated when the bill enters into force.)