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Title: Adopting same-sex unions in Catholic Malta : pointing the finger at Europe
Authors: Harwood, Mark
Keywords: Homosexuality -- Religious aspects
Sexual minorities -- Civil rights
Democracy -- Moral and ethical aspects
Same-sex marriage -- Malta
Catholic Church -- Malta
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Citation: Harwood, M. (2015). Adopting same-sex unions in catholic Malta: Pointing the finger at ‘Europe’. South European Society and Politics, 20(1), 113-131.
Abstract: In 2013 the Maltese Labour Party returned to power after 15 years in opposition, securing the single largest majority in the island's post-independence history and on a platform promising civil unions for same-sex couples. Asking how LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights became mainstream in a country synonymous with Catholicism, the article examines whether the adoption of the Civil Union Act is the culmination of ten years of European Union membership. Employing concepts of policy and institutional fit as well as social constructivist theories of elite socialisation and epistemic communities, it concludes that while policy fit accounts for the introduction of equality laws, the Civil Union Act depended on the social democrats' need to retake the progressive agenda. Elite socialisation – particularly among Members of the European Parliament – helped reframe the issue, encouraging the party to adopt this policy while the Europeanisation of the LGBT lobby reminded the social democrats that the LGBT minority, long hidden and browbeaten by Church teaching, now sought recognition and equality.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - InsEUS

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