Saturday, 10 January 2009

Gay Civil Partnership in Malta

9.1.9 by Amalie Pisani

Stop The World, I want to get off!

It isn't so much about my sexuality as about my having the human right to be treated equally despite gender, sexuality, political affiliation, race, creed or nationality. It is that simple.

I am equal to the challenge of making my voice heard but I am not, it turns out, seen as being equal in other respects. In this age of enlightenment I am cast into the shadows because I choose to be who I am despite the disadvantages. And there Are disadvantages.

So, if you are one of the voices I hear repeatedly proclaiming that I should not be given the right to civil partnership – and in denying me this freedom treating me as less than human – know this... that regardless of what you do or don't do I will still be gay and I will still love who I choose in the way that I choose to.

In a country that allows animals rights, children rights and humans rights, I AM NOT ALLOWED TO MARRY! In a world that can prosecute persecution and raise freedom to a value, the privileged still cling to the belief that allowing civil gay partnership will only encourage alternative life-styles. But let me say this again, a second time, should you still be distracted by the colour of my eyes or the lightness of my skin... Regardless of the privileges I am not extended, I am and always will be gay. Nothing you do, think, say, permit or take away will change that.

Without civil prejudice those who wish to have civil partnership, should. Civil partnership is my right.

In a country that proports to be democratic my demand – to be treated equally - isn't yet heard. It is drowned out by those who can not differentiate between church and state. It is drowned out by those who want to protect the world from a way of being that isn't so alien to their own: the difference is in Gender alone.

Remember, you could not deny me a job based on my gender or sexuality so how do you countenance denying me the right to being treated equally in other more personal affairs?

If you were ever told that homosexuality is an illness or the product of some kind of deficiency you were lied to. If you are under the delusion that 'my sort of people' are just waiting for the opportunity to gain partnership, have dozens of kids and religiously train them to turn all 'straight' people gay, rest assured that this fear is the product of baseless, unrealistic, prejudicial propaganda; gay people already live together, many already have kids and the majority live productive regular lives – though, admittedly, civil-sanctioned financially-disadvantaged lives. Civil partnership won't change the former it will only redress the balance of the latter and make a difference to someone such as yourself or a member of your family.

It annoys me to think that anyone can get away with equating who I am with the threat the depletion of the rain forest poses to humanity. But then again, I can choose to be Catholic but I can't choose to opt out of being who I am – it would be easier to simply stop the world and just get off.

A thought, though, has just occurred to me: almost nobody said anything! OK, so this time it wasn't Hitler and this time it isn't 'just the Jews'. The head of the Church just insulted something like a tenth of the world and no one seems to have batted an eyelash. Idly I wonder if a tenth of the world is more or less than the countless souls that were lost in the second world war.

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