Sunday, 1 March 2015

SEX 360°: Criminalisation of HIV transmission

1.3.2015 by Mark Josef Rapa (Dip. Notary Public, LL.B (Hons)

This presentation is part of the Conference ‘SEX 360° The multidisciplinary approach to sexuality’ which is going to be held on Saturday 7th March 2015 at Skyparks in Luqa.

For further details and registration follow the link:


Under article 244A, of the Maltese Criminal Code [1] , introduced in 2005, transmission of HIV, be it intentional or arising out of recklessness is a criminal offence. The latter in virtue of the relevant Legal notice [2] published in 2005. To date we had one case law where this law was invoked and used. Our jurisprudence has used the Italian Jurist Antolisei’s commentary on the ‘Lesione personali e percosse’ to justify the inclusion of such a law into our legal system, which has established that; non-disclosure before unprotected sex is considered to be dolus eventualis, -indirect intention-.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Malta Today: [WATCH] ‘The norm is changing’: schools to address needs of transgender students

During a gender diversity-themed seminar, educational professionals were urged to remain sensitive to the needs of transgender students, as empowered by the Gender Identity Act.

26 February 2015, 3:16pm by Teodor Reljic

MGRM Coordinator Gabi Calleja: "More than a quarter of transgender students find the scholastic experience problematic". Photo by Ray Attard

Schools will have to adapt to realities of gender variance, with both administrative and pedagogical staff being now legally empowered to clamp down on all forms of gender discrimination.

This was brought up during a seminar organised by the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM), entitled ‘Inclusion of Trans and Intersex Persons through Legislation and Policy’ and held at the Victoria Hotel in Sliema on Thursday.

Wall Street Journal: Molecule Shows Ability to Block AIDS Virus

Approach has yet to be tested in humans but could lead to new treatments and a vaccine

[Click here for the video.]

A new study could lead to the first step in new treatments for patients with AIDS and an alternative to a vaccine against HIV. Scripps Institute’s Michael Farzan explains. Photo: AP

By BETSY MCKAY, Updated Feb. 18, 2015 3:29 p.m. ET, 74 COMMENTS

Scientists have engineered a molecule they say can block infection with the virus that causes AIDS, a discovery that potentially could lead to a new therapy for patients as well as an alternative to a vaccine.

Researchers have been trying for three decades to develop an effective vaccine against the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS. They are also searching for a way to cure infected people. But the ever-evolving virus has eluded them.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Youtube: Sergei Polunin, "Take Me to Church" by Hozier, Directed by David LaChapelle

Sergei Polunin
"Take me to Church" by Hozier
Directed by David LaChapelle
Choreography by Jade Hale-Christofi

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Pink News: This advice by Freud on how to cure a gay child might surprise you
12th February 2015, 4:17 PM, LAST UPDATED ON 13TH FEBRUARY
by Joseph Patrick McCormick

Some assume positions on controversial issues such as gay “cure” therapies evolve over time. This letter from Sigmund Freud written in 1935 may debunk that.

The famed father of psychoanalysis an amazing and eloquent response to one parent’s concerns over having a gay child.

Pink News: SHOCKING images show Islamic State throwing gay men to death
16th January 2015, 11:54 PM

WARNING: The content and imagery within this article is extremely disturbing.

The Islamic State (ISIS) has released shocking images showing the execution of two men for being gay. Some of the images are too disturbing to be reproduced on PinkNews, even with a warning.

The images begin with a photograph of a crowd gathered next to a large building in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

In a caption, the man was described as having been convicted by an Islamic court of the practices of the “people of Lot”, sodomy.

Monday, 9 February 2015

MGRM: Inclusion of Trans and Intersex Persons through Legislation and Policy

8.2.2015 by Colette Farrugia Bennett, Malta Gay Rights Movement


‘Inclusion of Trans and Intersex Persons through Legislation and Policy’

Thursday 26th February 2015, 9am to 2pm

The Victoria Hotel, Sliema

On Thursday 26th February 2015 the Malta Gay Rights Movement will be organising a seminar entitled ‘Inclusion of Trans and Intersex Persons through Legislation and Policy’ as part of the EU funded Grundtvig Project ‘Queer Pathways into Diversity’ which MGRM is participating in with another five European partners. The seminar will be taking place at The Victoria Hotel, Gorg Borg Olivier Street, Sliema.

Malta Today: ‘Gender identity law to break down walls of discrimination’ - Helena Dalli

Civil Liberties Minister says that gender identity law won't lead to people capriciously choosing to change their legally recognized gender
3 February 2015, 8:58pm by Tim Diacono

Equal Opportunities Minister Helena Dalli

A law aimed at protecting the rights of trans, gender queer and intersex people to their self-determined identity will help “break down the walls of discrimination and inequality”, Civil Liberties Helena Dalli said.

“This law isn’t about the rights of trans-people, intersex people and gender queer people but about human rights,” Dalli said during a second reading of the Bill in Parliament. “We will not be giving these people special rights but equal rights. We want to ensure that everyone has the same rights and access to the same opportunities.”

Malta Today: Male, Female or X: the new gender options on identification documents

Government to allow the possibility of not declaring gender on ID cards and passports
3 February 2015, 11:28am by Miriam Dalli

Although ‘male’ and ‘female’ will remain the only sexes recognised by the laws of Malta, the government is set to allow individuals to choose not to declare their sex or gender identity on identification documents through the introduction of an ‘X’ marker.

The decision comes in wake of the Gender Identity Bill tabled in parliament and a consultation process that followed during which an internal discussion took place on how the current ‘male’ and ‘female’ binary possibilities could be addressed on identification documents.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Independent: Free and confidential STD and HIV testing centre to be set up

Therese Bonnici Sunday, 25 January 2015, 10:00
A gay nightclub in Paceville has launched a wide-ranging campaign aimed at creating more health awareness and tackling issues faced by the LGBTI community in Malta. The campaign includes the setting up of a confidential test centre for sexually transmitted diseases.

AXM Malta was launched by Haydn Pope, owner of the internationally renowned brand. In comments to The Malta Independent on Sunday, Mr Pope said that the idea is to give something back to the community, and to the customers who have chosen to visit the club. "It's a way of saying thank you to the customers who have chosen our night club among others, and at the same time promoting well-being."

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Pink News: YouTube twins come out to their Dad and the tears flow
15th January 2015, 1:01 AM by Gaz Jeffries

34 reader comments

YouTube twins Austin and Aaron Rhodes have come out to their father and their fanbase in a video posted today.

“We think it is time to finally just be ourselves. We hope by our actions today you can finish watching this video feeling encouraged and inspired.,” they posted on their YouTube page, ahead of their video explaining that they are gay to their father by telephone.

The video speaks for itself.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

BBC News: Egypt court clears men accused of bathhouse 'debaucher
12 January 2015 Last updated at 16:07 GMT

The defendants attempted to cover their faces as they were brought into the courtroom

A court in Egypt has cleared 26 men arrested last month in a raid on a bathhouse in Cairo and charged with "inciting debauchery".

Their trial had been seen as part of a campaign by the Egyptian authorities against the country's homosexuals.

Footage broadcast by a local TV station of the men being pulled half-naked out of the bathhouse by police outraged activists and rights groups.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Times: Drag queen shrugs off abuse
Sunday, January 11, 2015, 00:01 by Ivan Martin

Moises Ismael (left) also known as the drag queen Lakesiss.

A Paceville drag queen is challenging homophobic sentiment in the island’s clubbing district despite regularly facing abuse from revellers.

Moises Ismael, 29, from Panama, works as an entertainer and host at a gay club, AXM, in the heart of Paceville.

Mr Ismael, or Lakesiss as he is known in drag, recounts how he regularly faces offensive taunts and at times the threat of physical violence from some Paceville patrons.

“I treat people the way they treat me. I mean, I don’t hit them or offend them of course – I’m the queen. I just smile... [This is a Times Premium article. Click here to continue reading the article].

Thursday, 8 January 2015

MNT: Why do experimental HIV vaccines backfire?
Last updated: 5 January 2015 at 7am PST by David McNamee

Several clinical trials have shown that HIV vaccines can "backfire" and lead to increased rates of infection. Now, a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests an explanation for this backfire effect.

"This study shows that if a vaccine induces high levels of activated CD4+ T cells in mucosal tissues, any potential protective effect of the vaccine may be hampered," senior author Guido Silvestri explains.

Senior author of the new study, Guido Silvestri, chief of microbiology and immunology at Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, says:

Sunday, 4 January 2015

BBC News: Gay US blood donor ban 'should end'
23 December 2014 Last updated at 19:26 GMT

Gay and bisexual men should no longer be banned from donating blood in the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended.

The ban has been in place since the HIV/Aids epidemic in the mid-1980s.

Men who have had sex with other men in the previous 12 months will still be banned, the FDA said in a statement.

Friday, 2 January 2015

YouTube: The Imitation Game [Dr Alan Turing]

Published on 21 Jul 2014

In THE IMITATION GAME, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal.

Official site:

The Imitation Game is based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma:

Monday, 29 December 2014

Times: MUT satisfied with Church explanations on engagement of school staff
Monday, December 29, 2014, 16:04

The Malta Union of Teachers said today that it had had a fruitful meeting with Bishop Charles Scicluna, administrator of the Maltese archdiocese, about a draft document on the engagement of staff in Church schools, and as a result directives of industrial action in Church schools have been suspended.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Pink News: ganda’s anti-gay President might not like this Christmas present
24th December 2014, 12:35 PM by Nick Duffy [Reader comments]

President Museveni might not be thrilled with his gift

A dating site has sent the Ugandan president a book on homosexuality in animals for Christmas.

German dating site Gleichklang gifted Yoweri Museveni – who signed off on Uganda’s harsh anti-gay law earlier this year before a court struck it down – a copy of ‘Biological Exuberance – Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity’.

Pink News: US: Lesbian couple marry after 72 years together
8th September 2014, 12:04 PM by Joseph Patrick McCormick [Reader comments]

The couple married on Saturday after 72 years together (image: Pinterest Marissa Mae Kidd)

A lesbian couple in the US state of Iowa have married, after being together for 72 years.

Vivian Boyack, 91, and Alice Dubes ,90, met in Yale, and then moved to Davenport in 1947.

They exchanged vows in the First Christian Church in Davenport on Saturday, accompanied by family and friends, reports the QCTimes.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

It Gets Better: There's just one story to be told: An interview with Maltese LGBT Activist Romina Tolu


Romina (or Mina) Tolu is one of the founding members of WE ARE, an LGBTQQI youth and student organization in Malta, a small island country in the Mediterranean Sea. She is currently serving as the communications officer on the executive board of the INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND QUEER YOUTH AND STUDENT ORGANIZATION (IGLYO), a European-based organization that aims to empower and enable the representation of LGBTQ youth and student issues around the world.

IGBP: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Romina Tolu: I’m 23 and I’ve been involved in LGBT activism since I was about 19, when I got involved at University. My sister’s girlfriend at the time and her friends were trying to start a group at University. It was going to be the first proper LGBT group at the University of Malta, which is the only university we have in Malta and it caters to over ten thousand students. They tried to rope me into it and at first I was quite shy and I was like, “No, no, no. I’ll support you but I’ll be distant”. But then my sister tried to convince me by buttering me up and saying, “You know we need your skills! Your face doesn’t need to be shown anywhere. We just need you to design a few posters, write a few blog posts and that’s it”. So I told her, “Ok in that case I’ll consider it”, and I went along to the first meeting. Then, once the group was officially set up and we had to do our statutes, we needed a certain amount of people on the board. That’s when I was roped into being communications officer for the organization because there was no one else to fill in that role. In the end my sister managed to convince me. So that’s how I got involved in LGBT activism. It was almost “sister coercion”, which is great actually. I am very grateful that it happened because it has brought me to where I am today.