Sunday, 19 April 2009

MaltaStar: "Confidentiality problems" keep Maltese homosexuals from using local healthcare
01 April 2009

Problems with confidentiality in the Maltese health system are leading homosexuals to seek treatment in another country, a study released on Tuesday reveals.

The second part of a European report, ‘Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States’, shows that the Maltese and European lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities are still facing social difficulties due to their sexual orientation.

The European Union for Fundamental Rights (FRA) study refers to interviews with representatives of the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM), who explained that homosexuals are avoiding local healthcare services particularly when it comes to HIV and AIDS, because they fear their confidentiality will not be respected.

FRA also explains that bullying and harassment of LGBT students in Maltese educational institutions forced these youths to skip classes or even drop out of school. They also complained of lack of understanding by teachers. The FRA report also remarks that the MGRM was stopped from distributing leaflets promoting diversity in Maltese schools.

Homosexual couples and adoption

Malta is one of 14 member states who do not yet grant partnership or marriage rights to LGBT couples. Due to this, LGBT couples are deprived of the rights and benefits which the state grants to opposite-sex couples. The EU study also finds that Maltese and Polish citizens are the least supportive of the proposition to authorise homosexual couples to adopt children. Only 7% of Maltese believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children.

Research in most of the member states shows that many LGBT persons conceal their sexual orientation from relatives to avoid discrimination within the family. Yet, the study points out that those who are open about their sexual orientation are eventually accepted within the family.
Click here to view the full report - Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States

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