MALTA, November 29, 2013 ( – A Maltese bishop has slammed the government's proposed same-sex civil union legislation, saying that there is simply no equivalence between heterosexual and homosexual relationships. 

“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,” said Bishop Charles Scicluna during an interview with Reno Bugeja on TV Malta's Dissett investigative news program. 

Bishop Scicluna criticized the ambiguity of the terms used in the bill, saying that the government must make a clear distinction between civil unions and marriage, and should come clean on what it is actually proposing. 


“Currently, the obligations and rights of members within a civil union are barely different from those within a marriage and consequently, parliament needs to clearly distinguish the rights pertinent to a marriage and those to a civil union,” Bishop Scicluna told Bugeja. 

The bishop also denounced the surreptitious way in which the proposed legislation was introduced. 

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In an article in Malta Today Bishop Scicluna said the language of the bill was deceptive in that it employs the term 'civil unions' when the draft law itself states that its object is to equate same-sex civil unions and marriage. 

“If the government wants gay marriage, it should say so. I understand the party in government did not promise gay marriage, so it doesn't feel it has this mandate. But that is something that should be discussed in parliament: why is government introducing gay marriage under a convenient label?” 

The bishop stated that Helena Dalli, Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, “promised a White Paper and instead chose to bring forward a draft law hatched by LGBT people in a closed shop, the consultative council.” 

In a strongly-worded letter to the Sunday Times of Malta, Bishop Scicluna urged MPs to reflect and engage in a thorough debate before putting voting. 

He said that equating same-sex unions with marriage is “illogical” and “deceptive.” “n a nutshell marriage is for the family,” he said. “It is not simply a socially recognized partnership. The proposed bill intends to put all this behind us in the name of the asserted equality of same sex couples to heterosexual couples.” 

Referring to the Christian precept that all people, including homosexuals, deserve to be treated with dignity, Bishop Scicluna wrote that, “this asserted equality is a no-brainer when we deal with human dignity and the right to freedom from unjust discrimination. It does not stand the test of logic when it comes to the openness to the gift of parenthood.”

“This is the essential difference between marriage and any other human partnership: the ability to become one flesh in the mutual expression of love and the natural openness to the gift of parenthood,” Bishop Scicluna concluded. 


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