Malta, an overwhelmingly Catholic country and the European Union's smallest member state, has voted in favour of legalising divorce.
Lawrence Gonzi, the prime minister, announced the outcome in Valletta, the capital, on Sunday after a referendum in one of the only two countries where it is still banned.
The Roman Catholic Church did not campaign officially in the referendum.
However, Paul Cremona, Valletta's archbishop, had warned church goers in a letter they faces a choice between building and destroying family values.
"By this vote, the citizen will either build or destroy. A choice in favour of permanent marriage is an act of faith in the family, built upon a bond of love which cannot be severed," said the letter, read out at masses.
In addition, priests have reportedly threatened to refuse communion to those who vote "yes" in the referendum.
Catholic priests, Al Jazeera 49 Comments
[6/2/2011 3:37:45 AM]
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