According to Dr Chris Said, the cohabitation bill which overtly discriminates against same-sex couples and ignores crucial issues such as taxation, is “based on what the government believes is right and is acceptable to society.”

I beg to differ on the generalization about what is acceptable to society but for the sake of the argument, let’s say he’s right.

So? Does that make discrimination justifiable?

One of the very basics in human rights law and ethics is that minority rights should be respected irrespective of what the majority thinks, as long as fulfilling those rights doesn’t involve denying the rights to others.

It is definitely not the case here. Not-liking-gays-getting-married is NOT a human right. It’s bigotry.

If you’re afraid that same-sex couples getting married is going to affect your own marriage because “it weakens the institution of marriage” is such a twisted way of thinking that maybe you weren’t really suited for marriage in the first place. What the heck are you thinking, that your wife will leave you because Olga and Priscilla next door are going to tie the knot?

Same-sex marriage is about treating equals as equal. It doesn’t interfere on the rights of the majority in any way and those who oppose it are motivated by either bigotry or irrationality.

Needless to say, the PL were quick to point fingers at Chris Said accusing him of “homophobia”. Ironically, Joseph Muscat has already stated clearly he believes marriage is for people of the opposite sex only. In other words he doesn’t consider gay couples as equal either.

Introducing same-sex marriage isn’t just about LGBT rights. It’s also a reflection on whether our government (and opposition) really believe in equality in diversity or whether they consider it as just a slogan.

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When Poland was under the Soviets, Trade Unionist Lech Walesa used to greet his fellow Solidarity members with rosary beads in his hands. It wasn’t simply a religious act. It was an act of rebellion. The Soviets had taken all freedoms from the people of this vastly Catholic country including freedom of worship. The Poles were up in arms and the Catholic church was by their side. Rightly so.

Freedom of worship is a fundamental human right and a society that tramples upon it can never claim it’s a democracy.

Unlike the “forced atheism” of the Soviets, Malta is today witnessing a wave of secularism. Believers and non-believers are coming to the rational agreement that freedom of worship should be accompanied by the freedom not to worship. That, within the remit of the law, everyone is free to practice his religion but not to impose it on others.

This change was particularly marked by the divorce referendum, where 53% of the voters, a substantial amount of whom must be Catholics, agreed that if a marriage is over, one should call a spade a spade and declare it over. Whether the former spouse decides to have a new relationship and even get married again or not, is up to him. If he considers that a sin because his Catholic beliefs, he has every right to remain single.

Like always, this created a backlash from fundamentalist Catholics who consider imposing their beliefs a human right. They are even uniting on Facebook in a group they call “The Catholic Vote”. Discussing the usual issues: Divorce, same-sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia, IVF and occasionally even drug legalization. Needless to say, compassion, forgiveness or, horror of horrors, turning the other cheek don’t feature anywhere in the discussions.

I won’t enter the merits of the issues but rather the tactics used to achieve their goals. One of them is lumping all issues together and threatening that if say, a legislation regulating same-sex relations is passed this will pave way for the much more frowned upon abortion. When truth is that there is absolutely nothing in common with these issues except for the fact that the Catholic church opposes them both.

Another tactic is implying that everyone who disagrees with them is a sleazy hedonist, who wants to cheat on his wife and most probably takes drugs!

Then there is the ultimate tactic: Playing the victims. The terms “harassing Christians” and “Christianophobia” are regularly used. Yes, for these fundamentalists, daring to disagree with them is considered as harassment, even hatred.

There will be no mincing of words on this. Unlike Lech Valesa, you don’t have a case. No one is going to take away your religion. Stop playing the victim, grow up and get over it.

Christianophobia may be a reality in Nigeria and Egypt where attending mass might get you bombed but not in Catholic majority Malta. The “secularists” and “humanists” you hate so much, would be the first to defend you if someone tries to forcibly take religion from you.

But it’s not the case. And you know it.