Malta legalized divorce in 2011
Malta legalized divorce in mid-2011. This leaves Vatican City and the Philippines as the only two countries in the world who haven't.
In 2011, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, a Member of Parliament from the Nationalist Party, introduced a Private Member's Bill which would legalize divorce. Motion No. 206 – Private Members Bill – Civil Code (Amendt) Bill was tabled in the House of Representatives, but later, a resolution would be passed authorizing a referendum under the country's Referenda Act.
While the Catholic Church claimed not to endorse any side, an archbishop wrote a letter - read out at masses - warning against a Yes vote.
On May 28, 2011, voters went up to their ballot boxes and answered the following question with a Yes or No.
Do you agree with the introduction of the option of divorce in the case of a married couple who has been separated or has been living apart for at least four (4) years, and where there is no reasonable hope for reconciliation between the spouses, whilst adequate maintenance is guaranteed and the children are protected?
The referendum resulted in victory, with 122,547 voters (53.16%) voting Yes, and 107,971 voters (46.84%) voting No, accorsing to their Department of Information.
Soon afterwards, Malta's Parliament moved quickly to follow the will of the 325,000 voters, and passed a law doing exactly what the people called for. The bill passed by 52 votes in Parliament. It's surprising given that most bills pass or fail by one vote due to