He did not discuss the merits of whether marriage equality was right or wrong. (Like me he is a supporter of the notion). He provided a professional opinion on the quality of the detail of that law and what problems it would create down the line when it would be applied.
The fascists out there would not listen, because that’s what fascists do. Gay rights activists, perhaps understandably over-excited at seeing a principle they campaigned for being legislated upon, refused to even look at the detail of the draft. As advocates for their community this was obviously their job but somehow it seems they felt they would appear ungrateful or insufficiently eager for the law to pass if they were to question anything about it.
As you might expect the government refused to even consider the notion of amendments to the law during the Parliamentary debate. Or even countenance consultation with the opposition or with anyone else for that matter. For Minister Helena Dalli the bill was like the Commandments, written by the hand of god, unalterable and an improvable except by sacrilege.
The arrogance of the government in putting forward and imposing badly written legislation is only matched by its incompetence. Correcting errors in primary legislation after its enacted is a complicated process that more often than not follows painful disputes in court and miscarriages of the outcomes originally intended by the legislators had they not been drunk with petty politicking when they should have been calmly and clinically writing the best laws possible.
That combined arrogance and incompetence produce the thuggish suppression of any dissent. Anyone criticising the quality of the law is branded an opponent of its objectives, and therefore a gay-baby-eating homophobe.
After Borg Barthet, here’s Jacques Rene Zammit bracing to face the music but explaining what’s wrong with the new marriage equality law in the calm detachment that was nowhere to be found on the government benches yesterday.
“The real problem of the bill is that it is a rash job that ignores all rules of legal interpretation. It opts for the more convoluted option of combing through major laws and in each instance reducing to the lowest common denominator any definition”.