No I’m not referring to the Normandy landings back in 1944. Today in Malta, the Parliament is currently debating the Divorce Motion. Later on in the day MPs will be asked to vote on the Opposition’s motion for the holding of a referendum. Unfortunately my connection to the House of Parliament’s stream wasn’t the best and wasn’t able to listen to the whole debate. Luckily @maltatoday is keeping a live text of all the happenings.

From what I read, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando was seriously kicking some butt, and good for him, seeing such energy and passion is refreshing and makes someone like myself, who is sometimes alienated by local politics, a lot more interested. What ticked me off was the fact that apparently he started the sitting by saying “Let me start off by saying that I disagree with divorce… I hope to see a strengthening of the family unit”. Now I don’t know if something got lost in translation here (Parliament sittings are held in Maltese) but that does raise some eyebrows. Not to mention that being in Malta you hear about every one’s dirty laundry and surely I’m not the only one who knows about JPO’s situation. So why would you say you disagree with divorce, when you’re at the forefront of such an important battle? What’s wrong with saying you agree with it?

Other than that I must say JPO was in top form and I’m not ashamed to say he wowed me with his arguments, so I thought I’d share my favourites here, courtesy of course of MaltaToday:

“Civil separations and ecclesiastical annulment exists, and children will always suffer from the trauma of separation in any process of marital termination.”
“Labour MP Adrian Vassallo and Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi should understand that prevalence of social problems are informed by marital breakdown not by divorce itself, a situation already existent among us… children will only suffer more by being forced to live in unhappy family and not in new family of spouses rebuilding lives and families.”

One of the main sources of ammunition the Against Divorce movement has used is the kids of divorced couples. Let me call bullshit on this one, kids suffer with or without divorce. My parents separated when I was 17, it destroyed me, and the worst part was seeing them at each other’s throats before one of them decided to move out. At that time separation had just started to creep in and I had no one to talk to who could understand what I was going through. If you’re really worried about the kids, set up proper channels which can be easily found.

“Being a Catholic politician is well and good… but putting the temporal interests of the Church before the interests of the citizens is wrong.”
This is a simple one really, Church and State should be separate, or in this instance divorced if you may.  

“The PN believes in family, but is it just the family that has had a serene history? Or do second families who live in harmony and have had children not worthy of this appellation?… Is it just the people who got it right at the first go who are entitled to a family? Are we perpetuating a caste system?”
Well said JPO, everyone deserves a second chance.

And of course, last but not least, my favourite:
“Was rallying cry of Xoghol Gustizzja Libertà (Work, Justice, Liberty) solely reserved for toothpaste and chocolate?”

Thankfully the motion passed, even though it was no surprise at all. I guess we will just have to wait and see until the 28th of May 2011. Maybe then, Malta will get to catch up to the rest of the world.

And to lighten up the mood:

Don’t forget to check out a previous post of mine about JPO and divorce.