The Maltese government is set to propose civil partnerships for gay couples. The country’s justice minister is to pilot a cohabitation law, which will propose the regulation of same-sex relationships.

Chris Siad, the justice minister in question, told Malta Today: “The bill on co-habitation will be discussed in Cabinet and within the Parliamentary Group shortly. It will be presented to Parliament soon after.

“The government’s position is that the relationship between gay couples should be regulated by the law regulating cohabitation, including the institute of civil partnerships.”

Until now, the Maltese government has refrained from making their position on same-sex unions clear. This new stance could, it is hoped, pave the way for a full-on battle for the liberal vote between the established Maltese political parties.

The government’s position on same-sex unions hews to the Nationalist Party’s new basic principles, which say that a state should “legislate to establish the rights and obligations that should govern personal relationships; both heterosexual and homosexual.”

The proposed law will, then, provide legal recognition to same-sex partners. In Malta same-sex marriages are not legal and there is no other legislation regulating such relationships.