Malta has become the European Union’s 15th country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Malta, a historically very conservative Roman Catholic country, will allow same-sex marriage following a nearly unanimous parliamentary vote on Wednesday. To think that this is the same country that banned divorce until 2011 illustrates how quickly certain societies can change.
The prime minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, was voted into office into 2013 and he has since pursued many policy changes that have been condemned by the Catholic Church, but praised by many others.
Malta remains one of the most Catholic countries in the European Union, with Roman Catholicism the official religion of the country. The church’s sway is clearly fading, however, with only one parliament member opposing same-sex marriage in Wednesday’s vote.
The church’s influence can still be seen in some areas of the law. Abortion is still illegal without exception, for example. But hopefully current trends will continue and the Roman Catholic Church will gradually lose all influence in Malta. I would love to see that happen here in the United States. Instead it seems the current administration is maddeningly trying to take us in the opposite direction.