The divorce debtae kicked off in Parliament yesterday. The motion was moved by Labour MP Evarist Bartolo, who with Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, is also co-sponsoring a Bill for the introduction of divorce. Evarist Bartolo said it appeared that the motion was being backed by a majority of the House, including the whole Labour group and some members of the PN group.
The Labour MP said family unity was something he held very dear. He had been happily married for 33 years and he was unlikely to ever need divorce. But his good fortune did not mean that he should deny others whose marriage had broken down from the right to start afresh.
He denied that divorce destroys marriages, but came about because marriages would already have irrevocably broken down, The Opposition MP said "Malta should not have a tyranny of the majority which denied others their civil right to divorce".
The question to be put to the electorate in a divorce referendum is not yet clear with both sides arguing against eah other. Evarist Bartolo said the motion proposed that the people would be asked if they backed the possibility of divorce when a marriage would have irrevocably broken down, couples would have been separated for at least four years, and maintenance and child care arrangements would have been made.