The President of Malta has signed a bill into law which allows civil partnerships and adoption for same-sex couples.

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.

President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca signed the civil unions bill into law yesterday, reports the Malta Independent.

The Civil Unions Act voted on Monday will also ensure that same-sex couples married or in a partnership from another country will see their union recognised in Malta.

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.”