A Maltese MP has said that she tried to unite her party which eventually abstained from a vote on the the civil unions and gay adoption legislation passed on Monday.

On Monday this week, the Parliament of Malta voted to allow same-sex couples to enter civil unions and adopt children and amended its constitution to forbid discrimination against transgender people.

In the civil unions and adoption vote, however, the 30 PN MPs, of the Opposition, abstained from the vote, noting concerns about gay adoption.

The leader of the Opposition, Simon Busuttil said his party was in favour of civil unions, but that it had reservations about adoption for same-sex couples.

Now PN MP Claudette Buttigieg has spoken out to say she attempted to unite MPs from her party behind the vote, before in the end choosing to vote along party lines.

She said: “I was one of those who tried to convince the other MPs to vote in favour. Others were against. We debated it for hours, in a number of sessions. In the end we compromised and remained united. I am part of a team and I cannot act as an individual.”

Following the vote, Parliament was lit up in rainbow colours.

The National Commission for the Promotion of Equality last month issued a statement saying it is the human right of same-sex couples to adopt, in response to a revelation by the country’s Auxiliary Bishop who said that Pope Francis was “shocked” by plans to introduce adoption laws for same-sex couples to the country, urging the bishop to do more to speak out against the legislation.

The Prime Minister of Malta Dr Joseph Muscat, earlier this year sent a strong message in support of the legislation by saying “I will not budge on the matter.”