Maltese vote yes to divorce, PH to be only country in the world with no divorce

(SPOT.ph) Citizens of the Catholic Mediterranean state of Malta have voted in favor of legalizing divorce, announced Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzo on Sunday, May 29, reports ABS-CBN News. Malta is the only other country apart from the Philippines that bans divorce. It is also the last European country where divorce is considered illegal.

On Saturday, 306,000 of mostly Catholic voters were asked in a non-binding referendum whether the parliament should introduce a divorce law after four years of separation. Legal separation, though widespread in Europe, presents many challenges in re-marrying, reports the article.

Gonzi, who campaigned against divorce, said, "This is not the result I wished for, but the will of the people has to be respected and the parliament should enact a law for the introduction of divorce." He added it was now up to the parliament to legalize the dissolution of marriage.

Pro-divorce leader of the opposition Labor party, Joseph Muscat said in The Guardian that a New Malta had been born. According to the article, Muscat is confident that the anti-divorce law will not thwart the will of the people. The Roman Catholic Church, meanwhile, did not participate in Malta's referendum. Malta Archbishop Paul Cremona warned churchgoers that their decision was a choice between building and destroying family values.

For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN News and The Guardian.

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