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Malta Just Became the 24th Country to Legalize Gay Marriage

#marriageequality #malta #valletta #v18 #gaypride #gay

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The values of equality and freedom are spreading.

On Wednesday, the once-staunchly Catholic country of Malta off of the coast of Italy became the world’s 24th nation to legalize same sex marriage.

The country’s parliament voted nearly-unanimously to change its marriage laws, replacing the words “husband and wife” with “spouses.”

The change was dramatic for the island nation of 440,000 people, which only legalized divorce in 2011.

Read More: Malta Will Repeal a Law That Legalized Violent Abductions of Girls and Women

Equal Rights🌈 👬👫👭 #wemadehistroy #equalrights #forall #malta

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Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who was re-elected last month, has made equality a priority of his administration, according to the BBC.

"It's a historic vote. This shows that our democracy and society have reached a level of maturity and we can now say that we are all equal," he said.

Only one member of parliament voted against the act, which was also sharply opposed by the Catholic Church.

But both opposition parties supported the bill, with MP Simon Busutti explaining to Euronews that he supported same sex marriage because society is changing.

More than a dozen European countries have legalized same sex marriage, including Germany, which made the change just last month.

Read More: Germany Will Vote on Same-Sex Marriage as Early as Friday

Read More: Malta Is First European Country to Ban Gay Conversion Therapy