Sunday, 19 October 2014

BBC News: Catholic synod: Gay rights groups 'disappointed'
19 October 2014 Last updated at 01:32 GMT

Out of media player [Video].
BBC's James Reynolds: This synod shows the Pope faces serious internal opposition

Catholic gay rights groups say they are disappointed after bishops rejected a call for wider acceptance of gay people, which had the Pope's backing.

Times: Change in bishops' attitude to gays welcomed
Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 14:50

Drachma, the group for gay people and their parents, has welcomed the 'positive developments' in the Catholic Church with regard to gay people as evidenced in the Bishops' Synod, currently meeting in Rome.

It noted that the synod in its document Relatio featured a change in the tone, language and terminology used, possibly reflecting a change in the hierarchy’s attitude towards LGBT persons, their relationships and towards children of same-sex families.

President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society: Counsultation meeting


The President's Foundation for the Well-Being of Society would like to invite members of your Ngo for a consultation meeting. All the necessary information is present in the letter attached. I hope that you encourage your members to attend so we can discuss together what promotes or hinder their well-being.

Please note that the consultation meeting regarding the 30-40 age group was merged with the one concerning 20-30 and will take place on the 12th of December.

Best Regards
George Douglas Saliba

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

St James Cavalier: True Love Lies
18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31 October, 1, 2 November 2014 at 8PM

Ticket Prices: €18,
Concessions: €15,
23 and 30 October shows : €12

Author: Brad Fraser
Production: Unifaun Theatre Productions
Director: Toni Attard
Certification: 16+
Cast: Ray Calleja, Jes Camilleri, Pia Zammit, Joe Azzopardi, Bettina Paris

Times: Bishops publish new policy on gays
Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 07:47 by PA

Video: Reuters

Catholic bishops signalled a radical shift in tone over accepting gays into the church, saying they had gifts to offer and their partnerships, while morally problematic, provided homosexual couples with "precious" support.

In a preliminary report, released during a Vatican meeting on family life called by Pope Francis, the bishops, including Gozo bishop Mario Grech, also said the church must welcome divorcees and recognise the "positive" aspects of civil marriages and even Catholics who cohabitate.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Times: Updated - Vatican document challenges Church to change attitude to gays
Monday, October 13, 2014, 14:31

Updated - Adds audio comments by Gozo Bishop Mario Grech who is taking part in the Synod.

In a dramatic shift in tone, a Vatican document said today that homosexuals had "gifts and qualities to offer" and asked if Catholicism could accept gays and recognise positive aspects of same-sex couples.

The document, prepared after a week of discussions at an assembly of 200 bishops on the family, said the Church should challenge itself to find "a fraternal space" for homosexuals without compromising Catholic doctrine on family and matrimony.

Comments by Bishop Mario Grech [Click here for the audio clip]

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Ways of Love: Joseanne Peregin: “Fears and hopes as a Catholic mother of a gay son – a parent’s perspective”
Pubblicato su 3 ottobre 2014 da GIONATA

Presentation by Joseanne Peregin (President of Christian Life Community, Malta – “LGBT children’s parents’s fears and expectations”) for “The ways of Love”, an International Conference towards pastoral care with homosexual and trans people (Rome, Italy, October 3, 2014).

Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined I would be giving a speech to theologians. But then again, never would I have ever dreamt that one day, I would be the mother of a gay son either. I come from the tiny island of Malta, where everybody knows everyone and most of us are traditional Catholics. I have been happily married for nearly 30 years, and am a proud mother of three children all in their 20s. I have been an active member of the Christian Life Community for over 35 years, 6 of them as president of CLC Malta.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

All Out: Olympic Win

WE WON! The International Olympic Committee (IOC) just announced new human rights rules for host cities. This was their amazing response to our massive campaign in Russia, with our partners Athlete Ally and Human Rights Watch.
From now on, potential Olympics host cities have to sign a legally binding contract that requires them to protect lesbian, gay, bi and trans people – in line with Olympic Principle 6 on non-discrimination.
Here's how we did it:
118,759 of us told the IOC to change their rules for Olympic hosts, with an unprecedented coalition of 40 groups – so no country with harsh anti-gay laws like Russia's could ever host the Games again. We delivered a massive petition and sent thousands of email submissions when they asked for feedback on how they choose host cities.

Pink News: UN: Human Rights Council passes landmark LGBT rights resolution
26th September 2014, 7:20 PM by Nick Duffy

The United Nations passed the resolution (Image: United Nations)

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a landmark resolution condemning violence and discrimination against LGBT people.

The resolution expresses grave concern “at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Thursday, 25 September 2014

AIDS Alliance: Policy and Advocacy

In many countries, those most affected by HIV - sex workers, people who use drugs, men who have sex with men and transgender people – face criminalisation and discrimination, while services catering to them are often targeted by law enforcement agencies.

Alongside hostile policies, inadequate funding is also a barrier. Governments may be unable to fully fund their HIV response or unwilling to support services for criminalised groups, while many donors are reducing their HIV funding, particularly in middle-income countries.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

All Out: Stop gay 'cures' in China

Anti-gay clinics don't want you to see this video:

After enduring electro-shock therapy at a gay ‘cure’ clinic in China, Xiao Zhen has ignited a global outcry against these dangerous gay 'cures.'
100,000 All Out members signed his petition. Media all over the world are talking about him. Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed to meet with him in China.
Now’s our chance to make this even bigger. If we share this video and sign Xiao Zhen’s petition we can push the WHO to speak out against these 'cures' for good. Click below to watch his powerful story and then sign Xiao Zhen’s petition:
Click to watch

Thursday, 28 August 2014


28.8.2014 by the Malta Gay Rights Movement

Join us in recognising and rewarding the people you feel contributed most to Maltese society as positive role models from across society, from LGBTI supporters and from our LGBTI community.

All Out: I was in a gay 'cure' clinic

"No one should face the trauma I did at a gay 'cure' clinic.
"When the patient has a gay thought, we electrocute them or inject them with drugs that make them sick." One gay 'cure' clinic doctor in China said this to show what they do to gay people. 
It happened to me. In families like mine, being gay is still seen as something that can be cured, and scam clinics prey on that fear. Now, I want my friends, my family andeveryone in China to understand that being gay is normal.
Dr. Margaret Chan is the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) – an influential international authority who's from China. If we come together by the thousands we could get her to speak out against anti-gay 'cures' – and help convince officials to finally ban them.
Will you sign my petition asking WHO Director Dr. Margaret Chan to speak up now and condemn gay 'cures' in China?

Saturday, 9 August 2014

YouTube: Equal Rights are Bigger than Borders

This campaign video was created in Ukraine during a European Project. Our two young people came up with the concept and witht their team filmed it.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Pink News: Could being gay stop employers from hiring you? This study says yes
5th August 2014, 2:25 PM by Nick Duffy

Visibly gay candidates are less likely to get interviews

People applying for jobs are 40% less likely to be offered an interview if they are gay or lesbian, according to research.

The study, conducted by researchers from Anglia Ruskin university, sent nearly 9000 fake job applications to employers across Cyprus.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Pink News: Activists celebrate striking down of Uganda’s anti-gay law
1st August 2014, 3:22 PM

Activists have celebrated the decision

Activists have celebrated a court ruling invalidating Uganda’s anti-gay law.

Earlier today, the country’s Constitutional Court today struck down the law, finding that the speaker of parliament acted illegally by moving ahead with a vote on the law despite at least three lawmakers objecting to a lack of quorum.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Pink News: Comment: Chemsex is causing a disproportionate amount of harm for gay men
1st April 2014, 11:46 AM by Monty Moncrieff

The use of crystal meth is on the rise

The Chief Executive of London Friend, Monty Moncrieff, gives his response to a recent study on drug use in the gay community and says chemsex could be contributing to a rise in HIV infection rates.

Last Friday our Antidote team attended the launch of a new report examining ‘chemsex’ trends amongst men who have sex with men (MSM). Chemsex is a term used to describe the use of drugs to engage in sex and is a word increasingly being associated with the trends we see in men accessing Antidote, our specialist LGBT drug & alcohol support service.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Guardian: LGBT retirement home: the end of the rainbow

Europe’s first LGBT retirement home, a modest 80s apartment block in Stockholm, gives gay people a friendly place in which to grow old. It’s the start of a growing trend, discovers Eleanor Margolis

The Observer, Sunday 27 July 2014 by Eleanor Margolis

As you might expect of a Stockholm suburb on a Sunday, not very much is happening in Gärdet. Despite its staunchly liberal values Sweden is a Christian country, and the shops and cafés near the station are almost aggressively shut. Aside from one elderly man puffing on a pipe, the streets are empty. An expanse of identikit 80s apartment block screams “Nordic noir” but doesn’t so much as whisper “gay”. Certainly there is nothing to suggest that this is the setting of Europe’s first LGBT retirement community.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Sunday Circle: Here come the Brides: Inside Malta's First Civil Union
July 16, 2014 by Philip Leone-Ganado

With the introduction of Civil Unions in Malta last April, same-sex couples can for the first time have their relationships legally recognised. Philip Leone-Ganado meets the very first couple to tie the knot

Kristina Galea Cavallazzi and Clara Borg first met ten years ago, when Clara’s mother, a colleague of Kristina’s, asked her whether she could find summer work for Clara and a friend at the café’ Kristina owned in Attard. Clara, then a law student, started work during the European Championships of 2004 (as Kristina, a self-confessed football fanatic, remembers it) and continued until she finished University – over which time the two grew increasingly close. Eight years later, on Clara’s 30th birthday, the couple exchanged rings, and on June 13 this year they tied the knot during a ceremony at Ta’ Cenc Hotel in Gozo, surrounded by their family and friends.

So far, nothing unusual – except that with their exchange of vows, Kristina and Clara became the very first same-sex couple to enter into a civil union in Malta since the law came into effect last April. “To be honest, it’s not something we thought would ever be possible in our lifetimes,” says Kristina. “But we always said that if the law ever went through, we’d just go for it.”

“We were in Germany on holiday with both our families when the news came through,” says Clara, “and our parents brought champagne over to the table to celebrate. We thought: why wait? At this point in our relationship, there was nothing to think about.” As soon as they could, the couple got in touch with Clara’s cousin, Sarah Young, a wedding planner, and asked for her next availability – which happened to be Friday 13. “That’s a bit…you know,” Clara laughs. “But I said let’s go for it. We always did things slightly differently, so even that was fitting for our relationship.”

Although the couple were aware from the moment they registered that they were making history, they were adamant that their wedding should be no different to that of any other couple: a celebration, first and foremost, of their love. Thanks to Sarah they managed to organise their dream celebration in just six weeks. “Without her it would definitely not have been possible,” Kristina says.

The ceremony at Mgarr ix-Xini (Photography: Ben Camille)

The ceremony took place in the beautiful surroundings of Kantra, overlooking Mġarr ix-Xini. Kristina and Clara both arrived with their parents, and after their parents had taken their seats, the couple walked down the aisle together. The words spoken were similar to those of any other civil ceremony, and after an exchange of rings and vows, the newly-weds joined their friends and family in celebrating the occasion.

“We each danced with our fathers first, then we had a short dance together, and then we called the rest to join in,” Kristina recalls. Clara is quick to add: “Spending two minutes with the spotlight just on us was a bit nerve-wracking, so we tried to make it as short as possible.”

There were, of course, a few personal touches to the evening. The cake-topper, for example, featuring two women, had to be custom-made and flown in from the US. And Kristina had a pair of rainbow-coloured shoes made for the occasion. “Which I wore after we cut the cake, of course,” she cuts in as Clara tells the story.

But as for their aim of ensuring that the evening was first and foremost about their love, that was never in question. “Throughout the whole evening there was this feeling of happiness and love,” says Clara. “Everyone was having a good time and showing their love for us. That was very important to me.”

“I think the magical part of the actual exchange of vows is what will stay with me the most,” Kristina adds. “Remember, people in our situation would not have thought this would be possible. So being able to stand there and say those words and exchange rings in front of our families will remain with me. The party was great, but it could have been any party. That moment will stay with me.”

Both Kristina and Clara admit that they were surprised at how matter-of-fact everyone they encountered in the run-up to the wedding was about the whole affair. And yet in some regards it was a new experience for everyone involved.

“Well, the make-up artists and hair dressers had double the work,” Clara laughs. “They actually commented that usually when they’re doing the bride, they’re wondering whether the groom will like it, whereas since we were both in the room together, we could give feedback as we went along. We also went to the dressmaker together: we chose each other’s dresses and had them done in a way that they would complement each other’s.”

So what does marriage – and the fact of having been able to get married – mean to the newly-weds? “It puts a seal on a relationship that we’ve always lived as a couple,” says Kristina. “We’ve been living together for 4 or 5 years, but if something had happened – if I were in hospital and Clara needed to visit, she shouldn’t need to ask for permission. These things make a difference. As far as our relationship is concerned, nothing really changes. But now we’re recognised as a couple.”

“The process of organising the Civil Union has itself actually brought the families closer,” says Clara. “And to a certain extent, it gave us a feeling of authenticity. For our parents, seeing guests coming over and showing their love was a reassurance that their kids are loved… irrespective of anything else. That helps us, it helps them, and it’s brought us all closer.”

“This wasn’t just a couple getting married,” says Kristina. “It was a couple being able to do so – finally – in their own country. It was a sense of belonging to your roots and being accepted by them, rather than having to run away from them to achieve your dream.”