Malta legalises same-sex marriage

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New Delhi: Malta has voted to legalise same-sex marriage, despite opposition from the Catholic Church.

The island nation’s parliament agreed to amend country’s marriage act, replacing words like husband and wife with the gender-neutral alternative spouse. It also replaced mother and father with “parent who gave birth” and “parent who did not give birth”.

The change marks another major milestone for the island, which only introduced divorce in 2011. Only one lawmaker out of 67 in the Maltese parliament voted against the legislation.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat hailed the vote and said Maltese society had reached an unprecedented level of maturity.

More than a dozen European countries have legalized same-sex marriage, all in the western part of the continent.